Toshiba researchers took an important step in the field of quantum communication in Europe. The experts used fiber optics to create a 600 kilometer quantum network, and set a new distance record for quantum key distribution or QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) with such an infrastructure.
The test allows us to be closer to a quantum global internet, according to specialists. For this they developed a technique which prevents sent quantum bits from being affected by voltage and temperature changes. The technology in question, called dual-band stabilization, will “facilitate” the transfer of information protected by quantum encryption between cities or countries.
One of the most difficult technological challenges in building the quantum internet is how to transmit qubits over long optical fibers. Small changes in environmental conditions, such as temperature fluctuations, cause the fibers to expand and contract, thus disrupting the fragile quantum bits.
Toshiba ensures that the first implementation of dual-band stabilization will be precisely to expand the scope of quantum key distribution. According to the researchers, QKD’s commercial systems are limited to fiber optic runs of between 100 and 200 kilometers. New technology has proven that the journey through the quantum network can be increased up to 600 kilometers.
Toshiba and a fundamental advance to expand the reach of quantum encryption
Thinking that something cannot be hacked today seems impossible. However, the distribution of quantum keys not a conventional security solution. Here’s how Toshiba explains it in their ad:
The QKD method allows users to exchange confidential information (bank statements, medical records, private calls) securely through an untrusted communication channel (such as the internet). It does this by distributing to the intended users a common secret key that can be used to encrypt and thereby protect the information exchanged through that channel.
The security of the secret key is based on the fundamental properties of the individual quantum systems (photons, light particles) that are encoded and transmitted for key generation. In the event that these photons are intercepted by someone not designated, quantum physics ensures that the intended users can perceive the intrusion and consequently protect the communication.
Thus, there is no possibility of compromising the security of protected information in this way, no matter how advanced computing and mathematics advance. This is because the security of quantum cryptography is a derivation of the laws of physics.
With Toshiba’s advancements, countries and organizations have more tools in their hands to take quantum communication to another level. Other companies, such as Google, have already made it clear that they have a clear interest in quantum computing and the application of its spin-off technologies.
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