29 January 2010

Encryption at chip-scale

QuintessenceLabs has teamed with RMIT University researchers to miniaturise its second-generation Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology into a silicon photonic microchip.

The project, supported by a linkage grant from the Australian Research Council, is an important element in the evolution of the technology, which employs one-time pad encryption in real-time to offer high-speed, untappable communications.

Its integration on to a silicon photonic chip will considerably reduce the size and cost of the cryptosystem.

“This merger of technologies brings the most powerful form of data encryption, one which is ultra-secure, down into a chip-scale device,” Vikram Sharma, founder and CEO of QuintessenceLabs, said.

“The collaboration with the RMIT paves the way for deep quantum technology to become commercially available at a very competitive price point – making it accessible not only to enterprise customers, but also the retail market.”

Commenting on the linkage project, Professor Xinghuo Yu, Director of RMIT’s Platform Technologies Research Institute, said: "This partnership is an excellent example of what the RMIT Platform Technologies Research Institute aims to achieve.

“Here we have RMIT academic researchers partnering with one of Australia’s advanced ICT companies to develop a highly innovative but practical frontier technology platform which meets real world needs.”

The research project will be conducted by chief investigators Professor Arnan Mitchell, Dr Thach Nguyen and Dr Madhu Bhaskaran of the Microplatforms research group within the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in collaboration with commercial partner investigator Neil Baker from QuintessenceLabs.

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