Letter abstract


Nature Photonics 2, 728 - 732 (2008)
Published online: 23 November 2008 | doi:10.1038/nphoton.2008.227

Subject Categories: Fundamental optical physics | Lasers, LEDs and light sources

Fast physical random bit generation with chaotic semiconductor lasers

Atsushi Uchida1,2, Kazuya Amano1, Masaki Inoue1, Kunihito Hirano1, Sunao Naito1, Hiroyuki Someya1, Isao Oowada1, Takayuki Kurashige1, Masaru Shiki1, Shigeru Yoshimori1, Kazuyuki Yoshimura3 & Peter Davis3


Random number generators in digital information systems make use of physical entropy sources such as electronic and photonic noise to add unpredictability to deterministically generated pseudo-random sequences1, 2. However, there is a large gap between the generation rates achieved with existing physical sources and the high data rates of many computation and communication systems; this is a fundamental weakness of these systems. Here we show that good quality random bit sequences can be generated at very fast bit rates using physical chaos in semiconductor lasers. Streams of bits that pass standard statistical tests for randomness have been generated at rates of up to 1.7 Gbps by sampling the fluctuating optical output of two chaotic lasers. This rate is an order of magnitude faster than that of previously reported devices for physical random bit generators with verified randomness. This means that the performance of random number generators can be greatly improved by using chaotic laser devices as physical entropy sources.

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  1. Department of Electronics and Computer Systems, Takushoku University, 815-1 Tatemachi, Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0985, Japan
  2. Department of Information and Computer Sciences, Saitama University, 255 Shimo-Okubo, Sakura-ku, Saitama city, Saitama 338-8570, Japan
  3. NTT Communication Science Laboratories, NTT Corporation, 2-4 Hikaridai, Seika-cho, Soraku-gun, Kyoto 619-0237, Japan

Correspondence to: Atsushi Uchida1,2 e-mail: auchida@mail.saitama-u.ac.jp



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