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The AlphaRNG device

AlphaRNG is our next-generation hardware random number generator. Compared to other generators of its class, AlphaRNG implements data communications over a secure channel for confidentiality, integrity, and replay protection using a USB interface.

We have also enhanced the design to ensure the reliability of the built-in health tests using a technique known as hardware fault insertion (also known as fault injection). Hardware fault insertion is used to create temporary signal faults in the noise sources for the purpose of validating the expected behavior of the device under failure conditions.

AlphaRNG can be integrated in software projects through the provided software API implementation kit and software utilities. Thanks to the small physical dimensions and light weight, AlphaRNG may be placed inside a computer enclosure and connected via an internal USB port. It can also be connected directly to any external USB port and used over a secure communication channel.

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Devices ship in 1–2 business days. For bulk orders of 10 or more devices, please contact us. Please note that for orders outside of the United States, the buyer is responsible for costs such as duties, taxes, and customs clearance when the shipment is picked up in the destination country.

How it works

The entropy byte-stream provided in the AlphaRNG output is based on electrical noise produced by two Zener diodes working in avalanche mode. The independent electrical noise created by each electrical circuit is amplified and sampled into independent raw byte-streams and have uniform distribution of the random values. The two resulting raw byte-streams are then combined and de-biased to produce the resulting entropy byte stream. The AlphaRNG software kit provides an API for retrieving data at each processing stage for the purpose of evaluation or, for example, when a different post-processing or conditioning algorithm is to be used.

Quality checking

AlphaRNG implements an embedded health check test (HCT) that monitors the quality of each random noise source immediately after the electrical noise is digitized and before any further processing. The HCT test runs at device start-up and can also be triggered at any time through the software API.

AlphaRNG also implements ‘Repetition Count Test’ and ‘Adaptive Proportion Test’ as part of the device start-up tests that can also be triggered at any time through the software API.

The health check status byte is appended to each transmitted data packet so that the host computer is continuously notified about the health of the generator.

In AlphaRNG, the HCT is validated using a technique known as hardware fault insertion. Hardware fault insertion is used to create temporary signal faults in the noise sources for the purpose of validating the test logic of the device under failure conditions.

‘Repetition Count Test’ and ‘Adaptive Proportion Test’ tests are also implemented and continuously performed through provided AlphaRNG Software API on the host computer to ensure the quality of the random bytes retrieved through the USB interface.

Tech specs

More tech specs Data sheet

Available asymmetric ciphers RSA-2048, RSA-1024
Available symmetric ciphers AES-256-GCM, AES-128-GCM
Available MAC algorithms HMAC-SHA256, HMAC-SHA160, HMAC-MD5
Implemented statistical tests Start-up and on-demand ‘Repetition Count’ and ‘Adaptive Proportion’
Continuous statistical tests ‘Repetition Count’ and ‘Adaptive Proportion’ implemented in the software kit
Health check test (HCT) Start-up and on-demand Health diagnostics of both random noise sources
HCT validation Hardware fault insertion
Data download speed It varies depending on the cipher type and HMAC algorithm selected
Max data download speed Up to 190 Mbps when used in non-secure mode
Data download speed in MAC mode 30 Mbps when using HMAC-MD5, 19 Mbps when using HMAC-SHA160, 10 Mbps when using HMAC-SHA256
Data download speed in AES mode 5.2 Mbps when using AES-128-GCM, 4.6 Mbps when using AES-256-GCM
Data connectivity and control interface USB 2 high-speed interface with integrated EMI filtering and ESD protection
Random noise source Two independent circuits based on avalanche breakdown effect in reversed-biased Zener diodes
Device access Locked, no debugging, AES encrypted firmware
Software Kit dependencies OpenSSL 1.1+
Power supply USB bus powered
Power consumption 220 mA in active mode, 90 mA when inactive
RoHS compliance All parts and materials are lead-free and RoHS compliant
Country of origin United States

Use cases

AlphaRNG can be used for a wide range of purposes:

  • Live entropy source for seeding a Deterministic Random Bit Generator (DRBG)
  • Accessing randomness over a secure data connection
  • Generation of cryptographic keys and nonces
  • Research (statistical sampling)
  • Computer simulations
  • Gaming servers

Statistical tests

AlphaRNG device passes the following statistical test suites for measuring the quality of a randomness: Dieharder, NIST, Rngtest, Ent, IID.

You can download sample test reports using links below:

Test reports generated on Sun Feb 28 18:26:33 CST 2021

System requirements

  • Linux (x86, x64)
  • or macOS 10.15 Catalina and up (Intel and Apple Silicon)
  • USB 2.0 or 3.0 high-speed host/hub

Virtual machine compatibility

AlphaRNG device has been tested with the following virtual machine software:

  • VMware ESXi 6.7.0
  • VMware Workstation 15 Player
  • Oracle VirtualBox 6.1
  • Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac (Intel)

Warranty and return policy

TectroLabs offers a 1-year limited warranty and an optional 3-year extended warranty on AlphaRNG. We will repair or replace any device that fails due to defect in materials or manufacturing. AlphaRNG device may be returned within 30 days of purchase for a full refund (buyer will pay for return shipping).