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Great article describing Intel's latest hardware-based RNG

Published:

Here is a fantastic article describing some historical perspective on random number generation, and how it has morphed into Intel's latest digital random number generator, which soon will be embedded within Intel microprocessors.

The new process generates random numbers at the rate of 3 gigabits per second!

There will no longer be a need for analog random number generators, such as radiactive decay and the random movement of lava lamps.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/behind-intels-new-randomnumber-generator/0

Entry #627

Comments

1.
Boney526Comment by Boney526 - September 1, 2011, 2:40 pm
This is quite interesting. Of course - it's far from perfect, but they've even figured out a rudimentary way to compensate for the fact that each chip would be slightly different and produce different bias results.
2.
Comment by JADELottery - September 1, 2011, 3:36 pm
Actually, the technology has always been there in some form.

You can hear a random generator on your stereo when nothing is playing on it.

Just crank up the volume up to max and listen for the hissing noise, that's a random generator.

On your old analog TV, if you still have one, you could see it by tuning to a station that has no broadcast on it.

The dots you see on the screen are a visual random generator.
3.
ToddComment by Todd - September 1, 2011, 3:54 pm
@JADE: Right, all of those analog sources of random "stuff" are being replaced by this new digital method of generating random numbers.

It's a big deal, because it's really the first time anyone has "cracked the code" on how to make an all-digital random number generator that is not predictable.

It will have huge benefits of (1) being much faster and producing far greater quantities of random numbers in a very short time, (2) use far less power, making it run cooler, (3) will be able to be manufactured in much smaller chipsets (based on much smaller die sizes), enabling this advanced ability within smaller devices.

To use a practical, real-world example: Lottery terminals using this technology would stop producing patterns of numbers when people buy quick picks.

The other day I received an e-mail from a guy who got a Powerball quick pick, then his wife got another Powerball quick pick from the same lottery terminal, and it produced *exactly the same numbers* on her ticket that her husband got 15 seconds earlier.

That shocking quick pick example is caused by the horrendous random number generators inside typical lottery terminals. This technology would cause that problem to go away.

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