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DRAFT SP 800-90 Series: Random Bit Generators Recommendation for the Entropy Sources Used for Random Bit Generation
January 27, 2016

NIST announces the second draft of Special Publication (SP) 800-90BRecommendation for the Entropy Sources Used for Random Bit Generation. This Recommendation specifies the design principles and requirements for the entropy sources used by Random Bit Generators, and the tests for the validation of entropy sources. These entropy sources are intended to be combined with Deterministic Random Bit Generator mechanisms that are specified in SP 800-90A to construct Random Bit Generators, as specified in SP 800-90C. NIST is planning to host a workshop on Random Number Generation to discuss the SP 800-90 series, specifically, SP 800-90B and SP 800-90C. More information about the workshop is available
The specific areas where comments are solicited on SP 800-90B are:

  • Post-processing functions (Section 3.2.2): We provided a list of approved post-processing functions. Is the selection of the functions appropriate?
  • Entropy assessment (Section 3.1.5): While estimating the entropy for entropy sources using a conditioning component, the values of n and q are multiplied by the constant 0.85. Is the selection of this constant reasonable?
  • Multiple noise sources: The Recommendation only allows using multiple noise sources if the noise sources are independent. Should the use of dependent noise sources also be allowed, and if so, how can we calculate an entropy assessment in this case?
  • Health Tests: What actions should be taken when health tests raise an alarm? The minimum allowed value of a type I error for health testing is selected as 2-50. Is this selection reasonable?

NIST Public Affairs Office published a news release regarding the second Draft SP 800-90B.

NIST requests comments on the revised (second) Draft SP 800-90B by 5:00PM EST on May 9, 2016. Please submit comments on Draft SP 800-90B using the comments template form (Excel Spreadsheet) to with “Comments on Draft SP 800-90B” in the subject line.


Parent Project

See: Random Bit Generation
Created December 21, 2016, Updated June 22, 2020