Picture of surface mount ORB chip


Open Random Bit


logois a single-chip random bit generator featuring:
  • Free, Open Source (GNU General Public License) software on a one-time programmable microcontroller chip
  • Low cost (about $1 each in large quantities)
  • Low power consumption (2 mA, 1 mA standby @2.5V)
  • Wide operating voltage range (2.5 - 5.5 V)
  • Wide temperature range (-40 to 85°C, 125°C available)
  • Moderate speed (1000+ bits/sec)
  • Excellent statistical properties
  • Cryptographic quality randomness
  • Simple interface
  • Small footprint (5.3 x 8.1 mm, 8-lead SOIC)
ORB is hosted on a Microchip Technology 8-bit microcontroller, and uses one external resistor. A closed-loop process in which a capacitor is charged and discharged according to the contents of a bitstream generates random information entropy, and an A/D converter measures the capacitor’s voltage. The unpredictable low-order bits of the A/D results are "stirred" into an entropy pool, which is then processed through a cryptographic hash function (MD2). Part of the hash result is the random output and part of it forms the bitstream to continue the process.

ORB was created by: 

A. Peter Allan
APA Consulting
1323 Woodlawn Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19806
(302) 575-1991 Voice or FAX
ORB was always open, but it was previously licensed on a per-chip fee basis. Release 1, the latest, is more freely licensed under the GPL. Users are expected to burn their own chips. APA consulting can provide consulting services for integration of the ORB into systems, but does not generally sell chips. ORB has been used since 1999 in applications such as communications security, simulation, and gambling.