(EETASIA) A collaboration agreement between Imec and the National University of Singapore (NUS) aims to jointly develop scalable, robust, and efficient quantum technologies for the distribution of secure keys for the internet of the future.
In the coming years, large-scale quantum computers will make most of the current cryptography techniques insecure. To avoid this, two major global directions have been pursued: a post-quantum cryptography approach and another hardware-based approach called quantum cryptography.
Unlike conventional cryptography based on calculation hypotheses, quantum cryptography has a significant advantage: its security is based on the laws of physics proving to be unconditionally safe with quantum cryptographic techniques.
Post-quantum cryptography is essentially about updating existing algorithms and cryptographic standards. It still maintains a security profile that is still based on unproven hypotheses. It consists of the definition and the study of cryptographic systems capable of guaranteeing high levels of security even against attackers equipped with quantum computers.
Quantum cryptography, on the other hand, offers a much stronger security guarantee. With this approach, two elements are the quantum key distribution (QKD) and the quantum random numbers generation (QRNG). Now, however, the methods and processes that enable these quantum technologies are limiting and expensive. As a result, these bottlenecks have made quantum cryptography unattractive for widespread diffusion. Imec and NUS aim to solve some of these bottlenecks.
“Our approach consists of developing and integrating all QKD key components in a single silicon-photonics based chip, which ensures a cost-effective solution,” said Joris Van Campenhout, R&D Program director at imec. Dr. Charles Lim, Assistant Professor at NUS said: “The development of chip-based prototypes will allow us to turn today’s QKD technologies into an efficient communication networking solution.

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