Bay Photonics participating in £7.5M AIRQKD project to develop quantum secured telecommunications
Bay Photonics has joined forces with BT as well as high-tech Cambridge spin-out Nu-Quantum, Belfast-based Angoka, Bristol-based Duality Quantum Photonics and London-based Arqit, to combine multiple cutting-edge quantum technologies as part of a world’s-first trial of end-to-end quantum-secured communications for 5G and connected cars.
Kicking-off on 1st August 2020 and funded by £7.7 million from Innovate UK as part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies programme, the 3 year AIRQKD trial combines BT’s globally leading expertise in building quantum-secure networks with cutting edge techniques for applying quantum security to mobile devices.
The trial, which will run for 36 months from this summer, will for the first time combine Quantum Key Distribution over fixed fibre and free-space networks, with quantum-enhanced security chips in mobile devices, providing an ultra-secure, essentially un-hackable link between connected 5G towers and devices, as well as to connected cars.
Bay Photonics will work closely with Nu-Quantum, one of the UK’s newest quantum technology start-ups, to provide robust packaging for quantum photonic components: small modules capable of manipulating the faintest light signals (single photons of light) to generate and communicate absolutely-secure quantum encryption keys.
The photonic modules will be built into transceivers designed to be attached to buildings, communications masts, lamp-posts and other structures distributed over a wide area, seamlessly connecting to existing infrastructure including fixed fibre as well as the wire-less cell network. Open to the elements, and with a requirement for low latency as well as no drop-outs, the modules will benefit from Bay Photonics IP in high-reliability photonics packaging.
Growing at a CAGR of over 30%, quantum cryptography is rapidly establishing itself as one of the largest quantum enabled markets. There is a need for instantaneous, wide- coverage, secure data to be available for autonomous vehicle use to become viable, as well as to provide security from increasingly aggressive cyber criminals. It is forecast that the market will grow to $1.3B by 2024 from a current figure of $325M.