On the Entropy of Oscillator-Based True Random Number Generators under Ionizing Radiation Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2018


  • 20

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 1099-4300


  • The effects of ionizing radiation on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have been investigated in depth during the last decades. The impact of these effects is typically evaluated on implementations which have a deterministic behavior. In this article, two well-known true-random number generators (TRNGs) based on sampling jittery signals have been exposed to a Co-60 radiation source as in the standard tests for space conditions. The effects of the accumulated dose on these TRNGs, an in particular, its repercussion over their randomness quality (e.g., entropy or linear complexity), have been evaluated by using two National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) statistical test suites. The obtained results clearly show how the degradation of the statistical properties of these TRNGs increases with the accumulated dose. It is also notable that the deterioration of the TRNG (non-deterministic component) appears before that the degradation of the deterministic elements in the FPGA, which compromises the integrated circuit lifetime.


  • TRNG entropy; ionizing radiation; ring oscillator; self-timed ring; NIST