An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 19 December 2014 at 01:49 PM EST. 25 Comments
HARDWARE --
In 2015 we might see an open hardware random number generator that would connect to the system via an SD card slot.

Richard Hughes, the individual behind the open ColorHug device and developer of various GNOME software components, is determining interest and the possibility of coming up with an open-source hardware random number generator.

The hardware random number generator would be sized for a full-size SD card for wide compatibility by laptops, desktops, servers, and mobile devices. Inserting the device into an SD card slot paired with a Linux kernel module would constantly just be providing trusted entropy to the system for better and faster randomization.

This would be a fresh source of trusted entropy and with being open hardware design and an open-source kernel module, would be trustier than the RNGs built into modern CPUs that rely upon closed-source CPU microcode and from companies that may or may not be in bed with the NSA and other government agencies, etc.

Hughes hopes that this open hardware random number generator would cost less than $50 USD but he's still in the early stages of sourcing the components and prototyping the device. While most open hardware projects end up failing or not living up to expectations, given Richard Hughes successful past with the ColorHug and his other prominent open-source work, hopefully he'll be able to deliver this SD card RNG. Those wishing to express interest in such a product can voice their thoughts via Richard's GNOME blog.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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