MRAM – Semiconductors that run forwards and backwards?

Magnetic RAM (MRAM) could one day break modern encryption methods.  So says Engineers from Purdue University and University of California at Berkeley.

Modern encryption relies upon the fact that certain mathematical operations are inherently difficult to undo with an inverse action. Current generation hardware typically has a set of inputs and a set of outputs to handle the computation required by encryption algorithms. Importantly, there is no way to reverse the actions performed in hardware without major efforts and a lot of time.

Circuits have been designed to have an adjustable degree of randomness. The device has been named a P-bit to note the controlled probability of the output.  P-bits can be combined to build logic gates and arithmetic circuits capable of performing inverse operations. Circuits that act as adders can be made to perform subtractions while multiplier circuits can factor out products.

Pushing a stream of random bits into the output of a logic gate will cause the inputs of the gate to reveal what inputs would produce the output presented. With enough combinations fed through a circuit in reverse, the original input data can be found exponentially faster than traditional brute force methods.


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