(Optics.org) Researchers have demonstrated new chip-based devices that contain all the optical components necessary for quantum key distribution while increasing real-world security. They say that the “fast and cost-effective platform” will ease implementation of extremely secure data communications from emails to online banking.
The researchers report that “secure quantum key exchange can be accomplished between two chip-based devices, measuring just 6mm x 2mm, potentially over a fiber network with links up to 200km long.”
“Chip-based devices significantly reduce the barrier for widespread uptake of quantum-secured communication by providing a robust, mass-manufacturable platform,” said research team leader Henry Semenenko. “In the future, these devices will form part of a standard household connection to the internet that keeps our data secure regardless of advances in computing technology.”
The new QKD devices are based on the same semiconductor technology found in every smartphone and computer. They contain complex circuits that control the weak photonic signals of light necessary for quantum key distribution. Nanoscale components in the chips make it possible to drastically reduce the size and power consumption of quantum communication systems while maintaining high-speed performance vital for modern networks.