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AWS CQN completes QKD trial in Singapore with NQSN, Horizon, Fortinet

By Dan O'Shea posted 07 Mar 2023

The AWS Center for Quantum Networking (CQN) has completed its first trial of quantum-secured communication in a customer environment in Singapore, connecting two quantum key distribution devices about 3 km apart via production-grade fiber cable.

AWS was then able to set up a VPN tunnel that used both QKD technology and AWS Edge Compute hardware. Its partners on the project include Singapore’s National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN) at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), Singapore-based Horizon Quantum Computing (Horizon), and Fortinet. All of those parties have been listed as collaborators at one point or another since the NQSN was formally announced a little over a year ago. AWS announced its CQN in June of last year.

According to a AWS blog post, the NQSN is a field-deployed testbed aiming to demonstrate the integration of quantum-safe applications. 

“We’ve heard from customers that they want to prepare now for a future world in which quantum computers can break current asymmetric cryptography,” the blog post stated. “AWS is engaged in multiple efforts to ensure quantum computers bring only opportunities to customers, minimizing any risks. One capability that we are exploring is Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), which offers an additional physical protection in the transmission of quantum states between remote parties so they can establish verifiably secure encryption keys.”

NQSN is here to support the testing of concepts and use-cases relevant to Singapore. We’re happy to be able to support this joint effort between AWS and Horizon,” said Associate Professor Alexander Ling, lead Principal Investigator for the NQSN, from the CQT at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

More detail about the project can be found at the AWS Quantum Technologies blog.

Image: Geographical view of the metropolitan area in Singapore where the CQT (part of NQSN) and Horizon buildings are located. The red line is shown for visualization purposes and does not represent the actual path of fibre-optic infrastructure.

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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