I'll preface this by saying I'm a software engineer by trade and have very little EE knowledge.
In the software world, one can take all the bits that make up a file and generate a hash for a file. When the same hash algorithm is used, the hash of a file with identical contents is always the same.
I've always wondered whether or not something like this would be possible for physical circuit boards (not design files).
It seems to me that some combination of electrical/physical measurements ought to generate a unique identifier.
- This identifier could be used to make sure the board wasn't tampered with.
- One could independently verify the components of the board by reconstructing it and making sure the "hashes" match.
Is there any fundamental reason why something like this isn't possible? Is there any work being done in this area?