USF CSE Prof. Katkoori and students granted a US patent for a novel PUF Design

CSE Professor Katkoori and Alumni Rohith Challa (MS, 2018) and Dr. Arif Islam (PhD, 2020), are granted US patent No. 11,537,755 issued on Dec. 27, 2022, for an SR Flip-Flop based Physical Unclonable Function for Hardware Security. This patent presents a PUF design that relies on the race-around condition of the cross-coupled path in an SR-FF configuration to create randomness for use in IP protection and hardware security.

“It has been an amazing experience working under Dr. Katkoori at the university.” Rohith Challa graduated in 2018 with a master’s in computer engineering.

“Thanks to Dr. Katkoori for his tireless efforts as being mentor during my doctoral program and keeping a sound professional responsibility.” Dr. Islam graduated in 2020 with Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering.

In the current manufacturing landscape, most integrated circuits are manufactured in foreign countries. This can present substantial security risks to intellectual property owners, including overproduction, trust in the products, counterfeiting, and authentication. 

Among the possible security solutions, Physical Unclonable Function acts as a one-way function that can map stable inputs to preselected outputs. These sorts of systems are a formidable form of security because they rely on inherent flaws in the silicon and other naturally occurring variabilities that no manufacturing process can remove.

“I would like to thank Professor Katkoori for giving me the opportunity and my fellow labmates for doing great work and inspiring each other,” said Rohith, after receiving news of the patent. Rohith currently works at Intel Corporation as a SoC Design Engineer. 

“Dr. Katkoori has successfully developed my growth mindset regarding research questions from the ground up. I am grateful for being part of this patent application,” said Dr. Islam. He currently works as a security engineer.


Fig. 1 SR Flip-flop in race around condition




Fig. 2 SR Flip-flop based PUF Architecture