Physical Unclonable Function Capability Brief
Physical Unclonable Function Capability Brief


Counterfeit products are estimated to cost the global economy many billions of pounds each year. Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) are the next generation of anti-counterfeiting technology.

A PUF is a physical object that can take inputs and generate unpredictable outputs; it is unclonable in that the input/output behaviour of a physical copy of one PUF will differ from that of the original one due to some uncontrollable randomness in the copying process.

This concept can be utilised in conjunction with RFID technology to provide an RFID tag with a unique identifier.

Lightweight PUF designs have been developed at CSIT that can distinguish between inconsistencies in tags - ‘digital fingerprints’ - that occur during fabrication.

These ‘digital fingerprints’ can be used to compute a unique tag response upon receiving a challenge from an RFID reader.

A PUF cannot be copied or simulated ensuring that each challenge/response pair is unique to a tag. A backend database stores the challenge/response pairs for each tag and a reader verifies the authenticity of a tag by checking its responses to given challenges.

The full capability brief is available to download from our website here - CB4-PUF (Physical Unclonable Function) (pdf, 1.3MB)