University of York researchers have developed a protocol to achieve key-rates over dozens of kilometers at three orders of magnitude higher than ever before.
Standard protocols of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) exploit random sequences of quantum bits, also known as qubits, to distribute secret keys in a completely secure fashion. However, QKD protocols based on simple quantum systems have a low-key rate, which makes them unsuitable for adaptation for use in city-wide networks.
The University of York researchers have solved this problem, both theoretically and practically, using continuous-variable quantum systems. These systems enable the parallel transmission of many qubits of information while retaining the quantum capability of detecting and defeating eavesdroppers.
"Our system reaches extremely high speeds by three orders of magnitude higher than ever before over a distance of 25 kilometers," says University of York researcher Stefano Pirandola. He notes the new protocol could be used to develop high-rate quantum networks where devices securely connect to nearby access points or proxy servers.
The researchers' ultimate goal is to exploit fundamental laws of quantum physics for the development of secure communications technologies and services for consumer, commercial, and government markets.
From University of York
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