Last modified 8 years ago Last modified on 10/19/2012 02:11:01 PM

Sources of Randomness

There are many physical sources of randomness and each have their own advantages and disadvantages. On this page I will explore some of these issues as a step in the design of this project. At the moment I see two primary methods for potential use by HWRNG:

  • Electrical (thermal) noise generated in a resistor or semi-conductor device.
  • Ambient radioactivity or perhaps cosmic rays.

Right now I'm inclined to go with a solution involving electrical noise. However, noise sources are not usually as random as one might think and require some kind of correction or compensation to become high quality random sources.

Radioactive sources emit particles randomly based on a fundamental quantum mechanical process. They may require less correction than a noise generator would. However, I do not wish to include a radioactive source inside the Generator component of this project. Yet ambient radioactivity is always present and could perhaps be tapped as a random information source.


  • rfc1750.txt (72.1 KB) - added by pchapin 8 years ago. This RFC discusses issues in generating random numbers and includes comments about hardware sources.