David Kirkpatrick

August 1, 2008

Quantum cryptography news …

… from PhysOrg.com and Siemens:

Electronic communication is becoming more secure all over the world. Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Austrian Research Centers (ARC) and Graz University of Technology have joined forces to develop the first quantum cryptography chip for commercial use. The chip, which protects data by generating a completely random sequence of numbers from particles of light, replaces the currently used system of key distribution based on mathematical algorithms.

The prototype of the quantum cryptography chip is already available, and the corresponding fiber-optic network for absolutely safe, chip-based data transfer will be presented in October 2008 at Siemens IT Solutions and Services in Vienna.

This is how it works. Quantum cryptography works with individual light particles known as photons, which are generated and coded by an optical array. The security of the data is guaranteed by laws of nature, as photons generate completely random keys. The mathematical formulae used in the past, which could be decrypted with enough time and effort, will soon be a thing of the past.

Once the optical array has sent the light particles to the recipient via fiber-optic cable, each communication partner uses a detector to measure certain properties of the photons. The values are then compared using a communication protocol via the internet. If they match, the chip takes over the processing and uses the results of the measurements to generate a tap-proof

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