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CST Global Develops Quantum Key Distribution Solution

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Room temperature QKD emitter and detector technologies can securely encrypt high speed data in real time

CST Global, a UK-based III-V opto-electronic, semiconductor foundry, has developed Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) emitter and detector technologies as part of a UK-funded, government project. These technologies can enable totally secure, network communications.

QKD suits mission-critical, client server applications, where unbreakable security codes prevent hacking and malicious attack. QKD can be applied to existing IT infrastructures and offers a high-security, data transmission option within the rapidly expanding, optical communications market. According to Yole Developpement, the market for Edge Emitting Lasers used in Optical Communications is estimated to grow from $1.385bn in 2018 to $3.397bn by 2024.

QKD has been developed as part of CST Global's core competence in Quantum technologies. QKD is a result of CST Global's involvement in the QR-SPLED, government-funded project and the ‘Single Photon Infrared Detectors for Quantum Systems' project with Amythest research and Lancaster University.

QKD requires a single-photon, Quantum Light Source (QLS) to transmit data and a Single-Photon Detector (SPD) to receive it. CST Global has both QLS and SPD technologies developed to microscale, through government-funded projects. The SPD receiver also operates at room temperature, instead of at the impractical, cryogenic temperatures of previous solutions.

Andrew McKee, CTO at CST Global, explains: “High-security authentication of client server sessions in today's IT infrastructures are encrypted via a secure, HTTPS key server. CST Global's QKD solution will also do this, however, it can encrypt every single packet of data within a session, in real time, making it significantly more secure. However, QKD's speed allows direct client server communications and it will detect tamper attempts, aborting ‘suspect' sessions. This makes QKD-based network security totally un-hackable.”

CST Global's QKD solution operates at room temperature and is potentially small enough, cheap enough and practical enough for deployment in pc, server or smartphone applications, according to the company. The company is actively seeking a commercial partner interested in developing a dedicated, nanoscale chip for widespread use.

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