MQP 2005-A Mathematical Analysis of a Jitter-based Hardware Random Number Generator

In this paper analysis of jitter is conducted to determine its suitability for use as an entropy source for a true random number generator. Efforts are taken to isolate and quantify jitter in ring oscillator circuits and to understand its relationship to design specifications. The accumulation of jitter via various methods is also investigated to determine whether there is an optimal accumulation technique for sampling the uncertainty of jitter events. Mathematical techniques are used to analyze the accumulation process and an attempt at modeling a signal with jitter is made. The physical properties responsible for the noise that causes jitter are also briefly investigated.