Most leading security standards (algorithm examples of which include Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, and Rivest-Shamir-Adleman, or RSA, which are used in making online communications such as payments on shopping websites secure) used in secure communication methods do not take advantage of quantum technology. As a result, electronic transmission of personal identification numbers (PINs) or passwords can be intercepted, posing a security risk.
To mitigate these risks, researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a silicon-photonics-based quantum-communication chip that is 1000 times smaller than current quantum setups, but offers the same superior security that quantum technology is known for.1 The team is led by NTU professor Liu Ai Qun and associate professor Kwek Leong Chuan.
Roughly 3 mm in size, the chip, which is compatible with the existing fiber-optic communication infrastructure, uses quantum communication algorithms to provide enhanced security compared to existing standards. It does this by integrating passwords within the information that is being delivered, forming a secure “quantum key.” After the information is received, it is destroyed along with the key, making it an extremely secure form of communication.