August 08,2018

Secure IoT — On-Chip Security Scheme Based on Silicon Fingerprint

A number of research reports have forecast that there will be tens of billions of IoT (Internet of Things) things in use worldwide by 2020. As the number of the IoT devices surges, security breaches are also on the rise. It is warned that most hackers today may use vulnerable IoT devices as starting points for attacks against other targets or even the entire system.

It came as no surprise that the latest survey by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed that global business leaders see “security” as a major obstacle to IoT implementation, only second to the cost concern 1. A recent report by McKinsey also indicated that executives of the semiconductor industry view security as a major challenge to IoT growth 2. However, the silver lining is that the semiconductor companies could actually help resolve the problem and add values to customers with well-designed security offerings.

This application note will first explore how PUF (Physical Unclonable Functions) – the digital biometrics of an IC – can be used to establish a hardware security scheme. This paper is also to show how eMemory’s NeoPUF technology can provide a highly reliable and secure PUF scheme to protect individual ICs and their embedded machines.



1. The Internet of Things Business Index 2017: Transformation in motion, conducted by EIU, ARM and IBM. The survey showed 29% of 825 senior business leaders worldwide suggested that high cost of required investment as a main obstacle to IoT implementation, and 26% cited security and privacy as a major challenge.

2. Internet of Things: Opportunities and Challenges for semiconductor companies 2016, by McKinsey&Co and Global Semiconductor Alliance(GSA).