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Uncrackable encryption moves from theory to chip

Posted: 30 Jan 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Universita degli Studi di Pavia  encryption  algorithm  quantum computing  Eckert protocol 

Seen as a technology that can potentially revolutionise future computers, quantum computing could enable pint-sized hardware to outperform room-filing supercomputers, and could bring to reality uncrackable encryption that halts all hackers no matter how skillful they are. The missing piece of the quantum puzzle was called "spooky action at a distance" by Einstein, which is a reliable source of entangled photons that mirror each others' state regardless of their distance on standard CMOS silicon chips.

Now Italian scientists at the Universita degli Studi di Pavia, in cooperation with the University of Glasgow and the University of Toronto, have claimed to have overcome this last engineering hurdle.

20um ring oscillator emits constant stream of entangled photons

Tiny 20um ring oscillator emits constant stream of entangled photons for the quantum computers and uncrackable encryption chips of the future. (Source: Universita degli Studi di Pavia)

"The idea is that pumping laser light inside a tiny ring enhances the probability of two photons interacting. We therefore decided that this enhancement could be used, in particular, for the production of entangled photon pairs," said Daniele Bajoni, professor at the Universita degli Studi di Pavia. "In previous works, we discovered that confining light inside a ring resonator greatly enhances the interaction between light and matter, but our new results were realised by design, not by chance."

The most immediate application of quantum entanglement on a chip is uncrackable encryption, since all the chip maker has to do is build the silicon photon ring oscillator and use a popular quantum cryptography algorithm for entanglement that have been proven in the lab (using bulky expensive equipment instead of a cheap silicon chip).

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