Imec and Singapore team up on hardware-based quantum cryptography

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Imec and the National University of Singapore (NUS) join hands to develop the building blocks of a secure quantum internet, ie technologies for quantum key distribution (QKD) and random number generation (QRNG). The overarching objective is to develop a robust, scalable and cost-effective hardware platform.

To prevent future quantum computers breaking current cryptography, both software- and hardware-based approaches exist. According to Imec and NUS, the latter offers the strongest security guarantees as the security is based on the laws of physics, while the former relies on unproven assumptions.

QKD and QRNG are essential ingredients of the hardware-based approach, but currently, there are no practical and cost-effective technological implementations available. The partners will first develop a QRNG chip, followed by a fully-integrated photonic quantum transmitter. NUS will bring in expertise on the theory, protocol design and perform proof-of-concept experiments, and Imec will offer its silicon photonics know-how.