Physical unclonable functions (PUFs) are the circuits that extract a number of unique chip signatures determined by random physical variations from fabrication. Since they are able to securely store and generate secret keys, PUFs allow to bootstrap the hardware-based implementation of an information security. This manuscript proposes a novel ternary content addressable memory based PUF (TCAM-PUF) for secure embedded systems. The PUF responses are simulated under various conditions, which are start-up values of TCAM cells. The results show that the proposed TCAM-PUF provides higher reliability and uniqueness than SRAM-PUF, which is one of the widely-used memory cell-based weak PUFs. According to our simulation, our TCAM-PUF provides an inter-chip and intra-chip hamming distance of 49.5% and 3.5% (on average), respectively and uniformity of 49.8% (on average).
2017 by The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers