(EETimes) A recent report released by Inside Quantum Technology found that quantum key distribution (QKD), an encryption technology designed to protect critical data in the quantum computing era that was only in the experimental stage a couple of years ago, is now being supplied by major companies, including Fujitsu, Nokia, Raytheon, and Toshiba, among others.
The research firm is projecting that the QKD distribution market will grow to more than $980 million by 2024 with the telephone companies being the primary purchasers of QKD gear for their networks, which is being developed by Nokia, ZTE, BT and NTT. The first specialist QKD carrier, Quantum Xchange, is creating a QKD link between Manhattan and northern New Jersey.
QKD secures communications by implementing a cryptographic protocol involving components of quantum mechanics that allows two groups to produce a shared random secret key — known only to them — to encrypt and decrypt messages. QKD essentially uses quantum states to make sure that there’s no way you can break into a QKD-protected network, said Lawrence Gasman, founder and president of Inside Quantum Technology in a telephone interview with EE Times. “If you interfere with the information in any way, it ceases to exist. It’s the first uncrackable system.”