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Tiny, Cheap Solution for Quantum-Secure Encryption

By Washington State University McKelvey School of Engineering

March 29, 2022

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Researchers at Washington State University in St. Louis have proposed a quantum-secure system that is inexpensive, convenient, and scalable.

The new protocol for Symmetric Key Distribution (SPoTKD) uses tiny microchips embedded with even smaller clocks formed from electrons, which migrate between two locations via quantum tunneling.

The chips' initial state is recorded on a computer server, and creating a secure channel involves noting the time on a subset of the clocks and transmitting that data to the server, which can apply its knowledge of the initial state to determine what time the clocks read at the time they were sent.

Measuring the electrons induces the clock's collapse, thwarting surveillance or information hacking.

Quantum tunneling also allows SPoTKD to power itself for extended periods with the slightest input at the beginning.

From Washington State University McKelvey School of Engineering
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