# Dedicated random number generators

1. Jul 30, 2013

### DrDu

I was looking out for dedicated true random number generators and was surprised that there seem to be only very few around on the market. Anyone has experience here?

2. Jul 30, 2013

### chiro

There is a site www.random.org and the site describes the method to get the numbers by using interference patterns on antennae (electromagnetic signals) to get the data which is obtained by downloading the various data types (text, binary, etc).

I would suggest that you download some of the documents on that site or if you are really keen, do a similar kind of thing and build a device that captures some sort of physical phenomena and use the random-ness apparant at small scales to capture 1's and 0's and save them to a data file.

3. Jul 30, 2013

4. Jul 30, 2013

### DrDu

I had expected there to be a chip worth some cents which uses some noise source to generate random numbers. I wonder why they are so scarce and expensive?

5. Jul 30, 2013

Development in progress, if you have Intel 3rd Generation Core Processor and Ivy Bridge you will have access to a new on-chip random number generator codenamed Bull Mountain that uses an on-processor entropy source (let’s hope it’s not Bull! ).

6. Jul 30, 2013

7. Jul 30, 2013

### Bill Simpson

Hardware random number generator

http://www.araneus.fi/products-alea-eng.html

I've always wanted to see someone make a cheap easy hardware random number generator project from the decay in a smoke detector, without compromising the detector to the point where people run away scared.

8. Jul 30, 2013

### DrDu

159 Euros for a noise amplifier!

9. Jul 30, 2013

### AlephZero

You can make a cheap and cheerful analog white noise generator much cheaper than that. All you need is a reverse biased semiconductor junction operating like a Zener diode, plus an amplifier. E.g. http://www.eeweb.com/blog/extreme_circuits/simple-white-noise-generator

But if you want "true randomness", the hard part is making the circuit immune from any external influences - e.g. periodic fluctuations on the power supply rails etc. That's what costs real money.

Apart from cryptographic security they are non necessarily very useful either. For software simulations, not being able to repeat a run exactly (for debugging, code performance optimization, verifying porting to different computer hardware, etc) can be a big DISadvantage!

Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
10. Jul 30, 2013

### Bill Simpson

Plus the analog to digital conversion circuitry to convert to a digital stream.

You could just save the digital stream to a file and replay it if you need that.

And on that 159 Euro price, if the device was like a cell phone which costs far more to manufacture, but has 6 billion customers willing to pay $40 or$80/month forever to be allowed to use it, then I imagine they would be paying you to to take their random number generator hardware in exchange for your putting your name on the two year service contract.

Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
11. Jul 31, 2013

### DrDu

I don't doubt that it is not entirely trivial. But the electronics in even the smallest microcontrollers isn't either, yet they cost at best a handfull of euros.
The question is probably why there is so small a market for this kind of technology.

12. Jul 31, 2013

That’s obvious, isn’t it? X billion people who love to fiddle around with their xPad + FB vs. the very few who know anything about true randomness (and QM) = tiny market = low sale = higher charge.

What exactly do you want to do? And why is free random.org not good enough?

http://www.random.org/integers/

13. Aug 13, 2013

### Zarqon

If you're actually interested in true random numbers I suggest you check out the quantum random number generators (e.g. http://www.idquantique.com/random-number-generators/products.html ), which are based on letting single photons pass through beamsplitters. I'm not sure about the price, but they are dedicated, with both PCI and USB versions, and are obviously one of the few real true RNG's.

14. Aug 13, 2013

### Bill Simpson

http://www.idquantique.com/random-number-generators/ordering/online-shop.html

1305 Euros, 990 Euros, 1135 Euros and 2230 Euros, depending on which model! That is expensive even for my tastes.

I'm still hoping for a hobby project modified smoke detector (without compromising the package to keep from freaking people out about safety sillyness) true random number generator that would cost about 20 U.S. All that is needed is to detect each spike in current from the alpha particle decay.