DOI: 10.3390/math12010077 ISSN: 2227-7390

Advances in Physical Unclonable Functions Based on New Technologies: A Comprehensive Review

Yuan Cao, Jianxiang Xu, Jichun Wu, Simeng Wu, Zhao Huang, Kaizhao Zhang
  • General Mathematics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

A physical unclonable function (PUF) is a technology designed to safeguard sensitive information and ensure data security. PUFs generate unique responses for each challenge by leveraging random deviations in the physical microstructures of integrated circuits (ICs), making it incredibly difficult to replicate them. However, traditional silicon PUFs are now susceptible to various attacks, such as modeling attacks using conventional machine learning techniques and reverse engineering strategies. As a result, PUFs based on new materials or methods are being developed to enhance their security. However, in the realm of survey papers, it has come to our attention that there is a notable scarcity of comprehensive summaries and introductions concerning these emerging PUFs. To fill this gap, this article surveys PUFs based on novel technologies in the literature. In particular, we first provide an insightful overview of four types of PUFs that are rooted in advanced technologies: bionic optical PUF, biological PUF, PUF based on printed electronics (PE), and PUF based on memristors. Based on the overview, we further discuss the evaluation results of their performance based on specific metrics and conduct a comparative analysis of their performance. Despite significant progress in areas such as limited entry and regional expertise, it is worth noting that these PUFs still have room for improvement. Therefore, we have identified their potential shortcomings and areas that require further development. Moreover, we outline various applications of PUFs and propose our own future prospects for this technology. To sum up, this article contributes to the understanding of PUFs based on novel technologies by providing an in-depth analysis of their characteristics, performance evaluation, and potential improvements. It also sheds light on the wide range of applications for PUFs and presents enticing prospects for future advancements in this field.