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Home > Press > CNT Device is Basis for Random Number Generation

A true random number generator that meets the increasingly high security needs of next-generation communications, networking and business.

Proprietary Carbon Nanotube Device is Basis for Random Number Generation at Rate of 1 GHz

El-Mul Technologies

September 23, 2005

El-Mul Technologies is developing a hardware-based device that can generate random numbers at bit rates of 1 GHz and higher.

El-Mul Technologies CEO Armin Schon announced today that El-Mul's patented carbon nanotube (CNT) field emitters will be the basis for a new generation of extremely high-speed true random number generators (TRNG), following two years of research and development work.

"We've worked very closely with the scientists at one of Israel's leading research centers to see how this device can be manufactured, and we're now looking at a prototype system," Schon said. "While El-Mul knows how to manufacture CNTs as field emitters, our project partner has many years of practical experience in fast pulse processing and system engineering."

The CNT emitter is an ideal platform for natural, quantum-based random number generation. Research conducted jointly by both partners shows that the stream of electrons emitted from El-Mul's CNT tip can be used to create real time and near-real time bit rate streams for practical use. This capability eliminates the need to employ a deterministic algorithm that produces a pseudo random number based on a true random number 'seed.' This means, for example, that security keys produced by CNT-based hardware are practically impossible to decode -- even with the fastest computers -- because they are truly random and they change too rapidly.

The CNT-based TRNG device is superior to conventional thermal TRNG sources because of its low degree of auto correlation, even at the highest speeds. When the CNT emitter is paired with El-Mul's state-of-the-art electron detectors, one can achieve a system with signal-to-noise ratio sufficient for digitalization without need for further amplification, resulting in negligible influence by environmental factors.

A single CNT-based TRNG can reach a random bit rate of 1 GHz, about 100 to 1000 times faster than the best commercial TRNGs now on the market. Since tens of thousands of the microscopic field emission sources and their respective detectors could be integrated on a single discrete element, the upper speed limits of this technology are well beyond 10 THz. (The fastest competing optical TRNGs cannot offer such speeds, even in the future.)

The need for powerful random number generation has increased exponentially in the last decade -- in tandem with computing power and resulting communications and business demands. Most of today's standard generators are computer and algorithm-based, and so are inherently deterministic. Security keys produced by these pseudo random number generators can be routinely decoded when sufficient computing power is used. Standard key encryption methods (such as DES, AES, and RSA) are protected mainly by lengthening their key size in order to "out-run" computational decryption activity. A quantum mechanics based TRNG of sufficient speed cannot be compromised by such methods.

Potential applications for a CNT-based TRNG include encryption for secure communications (such as that needed by homeland security and mobile operations), secure network transactions (for example between financial firms and government institutions) and secure business (including gaming). A CNT-based TRNG potentially can be small enough to embed in current and future personal computing and communications devices.

El-Mul and its project partner have together applied for international patent protection of the CNT-based TRNG.

Engineering El-Mul's CNT field emitter for mass production will require significant additional development. "Our CNT field emitter technology is advancing and we are already developing applications in several key industries," El-Mul's Schon reported. "The TRNG application is among the most promising, and we're now procuring the funding and investment required to produce a proof-of-concept device."

E-Beam On-a-Chipô is a trademark of El-Mul Technologies Ltd.

About El-Mul Technologies:
With nearly 14 years experience in the design and manufacture of electron and ion detectors for a variety of industries, El-Mul Technologies is ideally equipped to develop and market this breakthrough CNT-based TRNG device. El-Mul has also been pioneering nanoscale devices since 2001, and is creator of the E-Beam On-a-Chipô concept, based on its proprietary, patented CNT field emitter solution.

For more information, please visit

Noa Even-Tal
Assistant to the CEO
El-Mul Technologies Ltd
+972 8-943-4184

Copyright © El-Mul Technologies

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