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January 12, 2007

Quantum encryption at high speed

High speed 1 gbps communication uses quantum encryption to detect eavesdropping

Now quantum cyptography company id Quantique SA (Geneva) has teamed with Australian cyptography company Senetas Corp. Ltd. (Melbourne) to create what the partners claim in the world's first 1- to 10-Gbit/s secure network that combines uncrackable quantum keys with classical encryption.

"Typical bit rates used in today's high-speed networks forming corporate backbones are in the range of 1 to 10 gigabits'per second, but until today id Quantique was not in a position to offer quantum cryptography solutions working at such high bit rates," said Grgoire Ribordy, CEO of id Quantique. "With this new development, quantum cryptography is now compatible with these high-speed data networks."

Quantum key distribution makes communications hack-proof by eliminating the possibility of eavesdropping—rather than depending on the length of an encryption key to scramble transmitted data. Quantum cryptography instead employs individual photon polarization to represent 1s and 0s in such a way that intrusions can be detected. The uncrackable codes rely on single-photon emitters and receivers that detect whether a hacker has viewed a polarized photon—flagging the intrusion by switching any bit that has been observed, thereby alerting the recipient to an eavesdropping attempt.

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