ChaosKey To Production

Presented by Keith Packard
Wednesday 4:35 p.m.–5:20 p.m.
Target audience: Community


ChaosKey is a true random number generator. It contains a noise source and an ARM SoC with a USB interface and provides about 1MB/s of random bits, suitable for replenishing the meager supply available in a typical Linux machine. All of the hardware designs, firmware, linux drivers and other software are available under share-alike licenses. The hardware and software development tools are also free software.

Development of ChaosKey started almost three years ago, and the first batch of 1000 that we've built was received in August and made available for sale.

This presentation will describe the hardware and software design process, including the many dead ends and hardware iterations symptomatic of a software engineer's approach to hardware design. Portions of the hardware were adapted from other free hardware projects showing how ideas from share-alike software licenses can be successful in the world of hardware too.

Presented by

Keith Packard

Keith Packard has been developing free software since 1986, working on the X Window System, the Linux kernel and rocketry electronics. He is currently a Distinguished Linux Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise working as the Chief Architect for Linux on The Machine. Keith received a Usenix Lifetime Achievement award in 1999, an O'Reilly Open Source award in 2011, sits on the foundation board and is a member of the Debian Technical Committee. He has spoken at numerous free software events around the world, including Linux Con, the Plumber's Conference, Linux Conf Australia, FOSDEM, FISL, Guadec, Akademy, OSCON among others.

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