(NIST.gov) Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have devised and demonstrated a system that could dramatically increase the performance of communications networks while enabling record-low error rates in detecting even the faintest of signals, potentially decreasing the total amount of energy required for state-of-the-art networks by a factor of 10 to 100.
The proof-of-principle system consists of a novel receiver and corresponding signal-processing technique that, unlike the methods used in today’s networks, are entirely based on the properties of quantum physics and thereby capable of handling even extremely weak signals with pulses that carry many bits of data.
“We built the communication test bed using off-the-shelf components to demonstrate that quantum-measurement-enabled communication can potentially be scaled up for widespread commercial use,” said Ivan Burenkov, a physicist at the Joint Quantum Institute, a research partnership between NIST and the University of Maryland.