Researchers at the Quantum Communications Hub are working to overcome the size, weight and power limitations of existing QKD devices. In collaboration with industry, existing semiconductor fabrication infrastructure is being utilised to produce a new generation of portable devices which are robust, cost-effective and commercially viable. The focus is on producing quantum enhanced security systems in a form suitable for mass manufacture and thus widespread industrial uptake with – importantly – significant scope for integration with conventional technologies.
The Quantum Communications Hub has helped create an R&D ecosystem for the development and eventual rollout of integrated quantum photonic platforms for secure data networking. This ecosystem is clearly going from strength to strength – there is now an Innovate UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) project AQuaSeC pushing towards commercialisation, and Hub-supported start-ups such as KETS and Nu Quantum are now respectively producing systems and components. The establishment of a supply chain for chip-based quantum security solutions is beginning. All this enables future Hub work to focus on innovation at low technology readiness levels. So we are now working on chip-based “next generation” systems and protocols, such as floodlight QKD, measurement-device-independent QKD and hybrid classical-quantum systems – developing these to feed into the growing ecosystem of companies and ISCF projects.