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Quantum Communication Algorithms Enhance Security

Quantum Communication Algorithms Enhance Security
A small chip developed uses quantum communication algorithms to provide enhanced security compared to existing standards.
Technology Briefing


The leading security standards used today in secure communication do not leverage quantum technology. Therefore, electronic transmission of the PIN or password can be intercepted, posing a security risk.

Now a tiny chip 3mm in size is about to change all that. The small chip developed by scientists at NTU in Singapore uses quantum communication algorithms to provide enhanced security compared to existing standards. It does this by integrating passwords within the information that is being delivered, forming a secure ‘quantum key.’ After the information is received, it is destroyed along with the key, making it an extremely safe form of communication.

The big breakthrough is that the NTU quantum chip needs 1,000 times less space than current quantum communication setups, which can be as big as a refrigerator. That means secure quantum communication technologies can now be deployed in compact devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. It also lays the foundation for better encryption methods for online transactions and electronic communication.

In today’s world, cybersecurity is critical because so much of our data is stored and communicated digitally. Almost all digital platforms and repositories require users to input their passwords and biometric data, and as long as this is the case, it could be eavesdropped on or deciphered. Quantum technology eliminates this as both the password and information are integrated within the message being sent, forming a ‘quantum key.’”

Quantum communication works by using randomized strings of code to encrypt the information, which can only be opened by the intended recipient with the correct ‘key.’ There is no need for additional passwords or biometric data to be transmitted.

It is like sending a secured letter. Imagine that the person who wrote the letter locked the message in an envelope with its ‘key’ also inside it. The recipient needs the same ‘key’ to open it. Quantum technology ensures that the key distribution is secure, preventing any tampering with the ‘key.’

Simply put, quantum technology does not require additional transmissions of passwords or biometric data that is necessary for “classical channels.” This eliminates the risk of interception or information being leaked, creating almost unbreakable encryption.

The quantum communication chip developed by the NTU researchers will be cost-effective because it uses standard industry materials such as silicon, which makes it easy to manufacture.

The breakthrough will help spark the creation of next-generation communication devices, as well as enhance digital services such as online financial portals for banks, and digital government services.”

The NTU team is now looking to develop a hybrid network of traditional optical communication systems and quantum communication systems. This will improve the compatibility of quantum technologies that can be used in a broader range of applications, such as internet connectivity.

The team’s findings were published in the journal Nature Photonics.


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