Cardano Prototype Tidbits: TRNG Boards.

Cardano is a joint project of yours truly and Mircea Popescu. The objective: an inexpensive, user-auditable gadget which attempts to deal with the problem discussed in "Don't Blame the Mice." Refer to Mr. Popescu's page for more details.

The device consists of a mainboard (not yet complete) to which two TRNG modules, containing two equivalent analog TRNG circuits (outputs subsequently XOR-ed) each, are connected. (First prototype of this type of TRNG is shown here. It contained one circuit of the kind used in the current version. Statistical analysis of the output for that unit can be seen here.) The design of this and other Cardano components will be documented in excruciating detail and published after the product goes on sale.

Some prototype tidbits! Click on the images to enlarge:

SMT reflow using an ordinary Electric Hob.

SMT reflow using solder paste on an ordinary Electric Hob.

Five units, complete except for header and shield anchor. Ready for Bed of Nails test rig.

Five units, complete except for header and shield anchor. Ready for Bed of Nails test rig.

Inspection under Microscope (actually a very spiffy stereo scope, but naturally you cant see this here.)

Inspection under Microscope (actually a very spiffy stereo scope, but naturally you can't see this here.)

This entry was written by Stanislav , posted on Monday January 06 2014 , filed under Bitcoin, Cold Air, Cryptography, Hardware, Mathematics, NonLoper, Photo . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

8 Responses to “Cardano Prototype Tidbits: TRNG Boards.”

  • Duncan Bayne says:

    There are many people complaining about the state of the IT industry. There are very few actually doing anything about it! Well done, sir, for being part of the minority 🙂

  • St Gregory of Nyssa says:

    I'm looking forward to learning how hardware can be user auditable.

    • Stanislav says:

      Dear St Gregory of Nyssa,

      The promise is that Cardano is to be: user-auditable. Notice that no one said: luser-auditable.

      That is to say, an intelligent and enthusiastic user with a smattering of familiarity with basic electronics and undergraduate number theory can verify that the device performs as intended - and, if he so wishes, construct an equivalent device; while the merely intelligent user can verify, with a minimum of effort, that the device performs as described.

      On the other hand, the hero who can build a luser-auditable cipher machine is not yet born. If this is the machine you expected, I am sorry to disappoint you.


  • VXXC says:


    Show me the Proofs design.

    You are old fashioned.

    • Stanislav says:

      Dear VXXC,

      The final design, hardware and software, will be published - as any self-respecting user would demand.

      Or did you mean something else by "proofs" ?


  • Helpful Friend says:


    Comrade, it is forbidden to assist foriegners to develop encryption hardware that meets the definitions of EAR Cat. 5 part 2 5A002 without permission. The US Government considers any person who exports technology outside regulations to be a wrecker. How do you intend to publish the complete plans for the Cardano in such a way that they will not violate the EAR?

    • Stanislav says:

      Dear Helpful Friend,

      It is certainly not my intention to become the first person jailed under this famous ban. The answer is that there is a recent loophole for open source products. So, it turns out that publishing the plans is actually mandatory.

      It is worth noting that the Cardano hardware contains no hard-wired cryptographic functionality. All of the fun takes place in a general-purpose microcontroller, which runs entirely traditional algorithms that have been used world-wide for some years. Thus, we anticipate no legal problems in the U.S. Now, extra-legal problems, on the other hand...

      The TRNG pictured here - the only component which is complete at present - is not export-regulated in the U.S. Though I imagine it could be classified as an instrument of gambling in some countries. Check your local laws before building one. If dice are illegal where you live (Iran?) an electronic RNG might be as well.


  • [...] Datskovskiy (aka asciilifeform) runs loper-os, with a strong focus on hardware and a good few years’ worth of [...]

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