Scientists create a quantum chip that is 1000 times smaller than the previous ones

One of the ways that technology promises to revolutionize quantum computing is through the quantum key distribution (QKD) ( quantum key distribution ), a quantum device(quantum chip) that allows people to encrypt and decrypt secure communications so.

Now, scientists have managed to greatly reduce the amount of space needed to create one.

The quantum cryptography is cryptography that uses principles of quantum mechanics to ensure absolute confidentiality of information transmitted. Source )

Researchers have developed a QKD quantum chip of only 3 millimeters (0.12 inches!) In size, an impressive feat considering that similar quantum computing configurations can be as large as a refrigerator or even occupy the entire floor of an office.

That opens up all kinds of new possibilities for this type of quantum technology. A chip of only 3 mm in size can be integrated into a smartwatch or fitness tracker, for example, since walking with a refrigerator attached to the wrist is less practical.

With an approximate size of 3 mm, the small chip developed by NTU scientists uses quantum communication algorithms for better security than existing industry standards.  It also opens doors for safer communication technologies that can be implemented in compact devices such as smartphones, tablets and portable devices. quantum chip
With an approximate size of 3 mm, the small chip developed by NTU scientists uses quantum communication algorithms for better security than existing industry standards. It also opens doors for safer communication technologies that can be implemented in compact devices such as smartphones, tablets, and portable devices. Credit: NTU Singapore

So why is QKD so important? At this time, when we encrypt data, we generally use passwords or biometric data, which can be hacked or filtered.

Quantum technology

Quantum technology offers great advantages: it allows us to encrypt the key within the message. Only the person with the exact same password as the one inside the message can open it.}

Kwek Leong Chuan, a physicist at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, said in a statement :

It’s like sending a secure letter. Imagine that the person who wrote the letter encrypted the message in an envelope with their key also inside. The recipient needs the same key to open it. Quantum technology ensures that the distribution of the key is secure, avoiding any manipulation of the key ”.

It is hoped that later this highly secure form of communication can be used everywhere, from ATMs to online shopping sites. It is dangerous to describe any technology as “unbreakable,” but QKD is approaching.

Scientists create a quantum cipher that is 1000 times smaller than the previous ones
Credit: TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

Applying the Schrödinger cat paradox

Technology takes the classic paradox of Schrödinger’s cat , often associated with quantum mechanics, and applies it to messaging: as soon as the cat is observed, we know if it is alive or dead, in the traditional puzzle. In QKD, as soon as someone observes the message without the key, it becomes illegible.

Liu Ai Qun from NTU said in a statement :

In today’s world, cybersecurity is very important since much of our data is stored and communicated digitally. Almost all digital platforms and repositories require users to enter their passwords and biometric data, and as long as this is the case, they could be heard or decrypted. ”

We are still waiting for quantum computing in its full form to become a reality, but QKD systems have been around for several years. The challenge for scientists is to make technology smaller and more practical, which is where this new chip comes in.

The new solution developed by NTU scientists should be relatively easy and cheap to produce since it uses standard industrial materials such as silicon, which are already widely used in computer manufacturing.

NTU's Kwek Leong Chuan and Liu Ai Qun and chip creators quantum chip
Kwek Leong Chuan and Liu Ai Qun of NTU and creators of the chip. Credit: NTU Singapore

For now, however, this remains only a “proof of principle” chip: it shows what can be done, but is not yet ready for widespread production or use.

That should arrive, on time. To begin, like many similar innovations, we could see this quantum computing technology used in conjunction with systems based on classical computing, while establishing and refining.

Despite the enormous technological challenge of developing quantum computing systems, scientists continue to approach to realize true quantum computing. When it arrives, it should mean that our data is much safer.

Liu said :

This is the future of communication security and our research brings us closer to quantum computing and communication. It will help boost the creation of next-generation communication devices, as well as improve digital services, such as online financial portals of banks and digital government services. ”

The research findings have been published in Nature Photonics.

Source: Science Alert / Nanyang Technological University

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