The Atom Age Random Number Generator

The Atom Age Random Number Generator is an external serial device which you can plug into a computer to allow the generation of truly random numbers via quantum mechanical randomness. Read more about it.

Source Code

/dev/random interface version 1.56
NOTE: this only works if you have the atom_age device configured for continuous mode operation (see below). Note that this is an application that busy-waits on the AA RNG and dumps data to /dev/random. This is not a Unix device driver. It is included here because of its elegance.
/dev/random interface version 1.86
discontinuous operation supported in this version
/dev/random interface version 1.92
reduced CPU utilization by implementing a sleep between entropy polls
randomness tests


Size: 8" x 6.75" x 2.5"

Analog Output: 7840 bps of random bits

Digital Output: 9600 bps of ASCII hex digits

Here is some sample output from the generator.

Power: 3 x D (serial line drivers), 4 x AA (electronics), 2 x 9V (noise transistor)

Power Saving mode

For continuous mode operation, solder a jumper wire to the two pads on either side of the "9600 baud" silk screen (near C26, close to the RS-232C connector).

Links to Related Information


Atom Age [email protected]
Original date: 21 Aug 2002
Updated: 29 Aug 2002