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International Journal of Reconfigurable Computing
Volume 2012, Article ID 219717, 10 pages
Research Article

Exploration of Uninitialized Configuration Memory Space for Intrinsic Identification of Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Devices

Institute for Information Processing Technology (ITIV), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Engesserstr. 5, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

Received 8 June 2011; Revised 25 October 2011; Accepted 25 October 2011

Academic Editor: Claudia Feregrino

Copyright © 2012 Oliver Sander et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


SRAM-based fingerprinting uses deviations in power-up behaviour caused by the CMOS fabrication process to identify distinct devices. This method is a promising technique for unique identification of physical devices. In the case of SRAM-based hardware reconfigurable devices such as FPGAs, the integrated SRAM cells are often initialized automatically at power-up, sweeping potential identification data. We demonstrate an approach to utilize unused parts of configuration memory space for device identification. Based on a total of over 200,000 measurements on nine Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGAs, we show that the retrieved values have promising properties with respect to consistency on one device, variety between different devices, and stability considering temperature variation and aging.