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Researchers at Ohio State University are introducing chaos into computer chips to develop digital fingerprints that may be unique enough to foil even the most sophisticated hackers.

The new solution makes use of an emerging technology called physically unclonable functions, or PUFs, to take advantage of tiny manufacturing variations found in each computer chip. These slight variations – sometimes seen only at the atomic level – can create unique sequences of 0s and 1s that PUF researchers in the field call “secrets.”