[Cryptography] In search of random numbers

Bill Cox waywardgeek at gmail.com
Wed Oct 29 09:34:08 EDT 2014

On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 7:20 AM, ianG <iang at iang.org> wrote:

> On 27/10/2014 23:55 pm, Bill Cox wrote:
> Precisely.  It needs to be so cheap that you'd drop it in if it solved
> any problem you had.
> The way to approach this problem is strategically:
>    1. create enough free designs such that there aren't any barriers to
> deployment.  No excuses!
>    2. create some demand 'pull' from the market such that users,
> customers, journos are asking questions of the builders.
>    3. create some supply 'push' where those who claim to use an RNG are
> rewarded by attention and recommendations.
> In order.  No point in saying anything until 1. is in place.  Muzzle the
> journes for now.
> Go Bill, go Paul!
I completely agree.  Make it so cheap and easy that every IoT device just
does it.

> > Ring oscillator noise sounds like a decent candidate, though for
> > even smaller size and higher speed with predictable entropy output, I
> > prefer an infinite noise multiplier.  For board level designs, there
> > should be a $0.25 highly auditable TRNG chip you can buy that just spits
> > out 0's and 1's when clocked.
> I'm shocked that a bit of silicon costs that much!

By the time IoT devices are in every home, we'd see these selling for $0.05
in decent volume.  However, any company building them early on is going to
want a decent ROI, and they'll sink maybe $500K into such a project ($200K
in NRE, an engineer for a year at $200K (design, test, packaging,
reliability - several engineers, but for only a part of a year), marketing,
stocking distributors, G&A...

It is hard to get lower than that $0.05 number because the fab wants $0.05
for the silicon, the packaging house wants $0.05 for the package, and the
test house wants $0.05 for test.  Getting them all to be reasonable and
make a small profit at the same time is hard!

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