PUF Technology White Paper

Why Hardware Root of Trust  Needs Anti-Tampering Design

By Dr. Meng-Yi Wu

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As the development of AIoT advanced in more diversified applications, such as artificial intelligence, image recognition, intelligent sensing, or smart healthcare, endpoint devices are exposed to more information security risks than ever. The technology boom also brings more security needs, so ensuring that devices are secure and trusted is critical. All layers of the system need corresponding security designs, from the application, operating system, and firmware to the hardware, to ensure the entire system’s security level. The most important design in the overall security network is the root of trust in the hardware layer, which is the foundation of trust in the entire chip.

The hardware root of trust (HRoT) provides the trust base (root key), hardware identifier (UID), hardware unique key (HUK), and entropy required for the secure operation of the entire chip and therefore is often the focus of hacker attacks. If the design can’t effectively resist attacks, hackers can easily obtain the secrets of the entire chip. Attackers can use the secrets to crack identity authentication and data encryption and steal product design know-how, causing application security problems.

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