Thursday, March 19, 2020

Researching chip-based devices for quantum-secured communication

Secure quantum key exchange can be accomplished between two chip-based devices, according to a paper published in Optica, The Optical Society's (OSA) journal for high-impact research. Two devices measuring just 6 x 2 millimeters potentially can operate of a fiber link of up to 200km. The chip-based devices contain all the optical components necessary for quantum key distribution.

The new quantum key distribution devices contain highly complex circuits that control the weak photonic signals of light necessary for quantum key distribution. Nanoscale components in the chips make it possible to drastically reduce the size and power consumption of quantum communication systems while maintaining high-speed performance vital for modern networks.

A demonstration has been performed at the University of Bristol Quantum Engineering Technology Labs.

“Chip-based devices significantly reduce the barrier for widespread uptake of quantum-secured communication by providing a robust, mass-manufacturable platform,” said research team leader Henry Semenenko from the University of Bristol, UK. “In the future, these devices will form part of a standard household connection to the internet that keeps our data secure regardless of advances in computing technology.”

“With its densely packed optical components, our chip-based platform offers a level of precise control and complexity not achievable with alternatives,” said Semenenko. “It will allow users to access a secure network with a cost-effective device the same size as the routers we use today to access the internet.”

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