(By Alan Kanapin) IQT Research believes that QRNGs will replace other sources of “true” randomness (TRNGs) over a period of 4-6 years. Both kinds of random number generators are hardware-based, making them preferable to software solutions in cases where the quality of randomness is of any importance at all.
TRNGs are often based on microscopic phenomena that generate low-level, statistically random “noise” signals, whereas QRNGs can trace their source of entropy back to intrinsically random quantum mechanical phenomena. There are four clear reasons why in the near future QRNGs will pull forward as the advantageous solution.
#1 Clear physical model: Unlike TRNGs, QRNG hardware has a clear demonstration of where the randomness is coming from (fundamentally unpredictable quantum phenomena). This clarity improves trust in the hardware and makes the certification process easier. TRNGs, naturally, pass randomness tests, but we believe that these tests will become more stringent as time goes on, with new levels of requirements appearing specifically for QRNGs.
#2 Easier real-time monitoring: Health checks (monitoring if the hardware is working properly) are essential for any hardware-based RNGs. Quantum hardware is easier than TRNGs to monitor in real-time and halting the generation process isn’t required. In the case of a malfunction, users are immediately notified.
#3 Higher resistance to attacks: Attacks on hardware RNGs usually involve influencing them through the environment to introduce bias into the system to make the output more predictable.
Firstly, it seems that QRNGs are more resistant to environmental influences. Secondly, there is a more advanced “device-independent” form of QRNG that doesn’t require the user to trust the vendor (a more niche application for environments with the highest security requirements).
#4 Comparable or superior performance and prices: Currently, TRNGs and QRNGs are available in both chip form and larger sizes, with throughputs varying from a few to thousands of Mbps. Prices seem to be comparable too
What makes QRNGs even more attractive is that they will likely be applied to many mass markets that TRNGs previously didn’t penetrate at all. In this recent blog post, we gave an overview of the potential QRNGs have in markets such as mobile phones and IoT devices. Meanwhile, IQT’s recent report provides an ever deeper discussion on all aspects of QRNGs and provides 10-year market forecasts for the technology.
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