New Player at Quantum Cryptography Field

quantum encryption

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Quantum cryptography is called the “ultimate code” as it is theoretically impossible to hack. Many countries have been rushing to put quantum cryptography into practical use as, if a quantum computer is completed, it could break the current code used by slower systems in internet security and produce new unbreakable code.

Quantum cryptography can also detect all illegal interception of data and remake encryption keys to decipher the code to avoid being viewed by third parties.

In Japan, Toshiba Corp. and Tohoku University have recently achieved a world first in the use of quantum cryptography on such a large scale with transmitting encrypted data. Their experiment demonstrated that the technology has improved to the application level, a Toshiba representative said. Toshiba transmitted a few hundred gigabytes of data on human genomes for 24 people, an amount equal to sending 10 feature films.

Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Toshiba, NEC Corp. and other companies have been developing the world’s fastest transmitter-receivers and leading the discussion for international standardization.

After analyzing the genomes in a facility in Sendai, Toshiba transmitted the data to Tohoku University, about 7 km away, in real time. Though the data took up a few hundred gigabytes, sending it using quantum cryptography allowed the university to view it just 2 minutes after Toshiba had finished analyzing it.

Quantum technology is seen as becoming indispensable to more securely transfer sensitive data related to national security, medical care and finance. For example, Beijing has been aggressively pursuing the use of the technology and succeeded in long-distance data transmission via satellites in 2017. In 2018, China built the world’s largest quantum cryptography network, connecting the 2,000-kilometer distance between Beijing and Shanghai. 

Japan lags China in application, but its systems’ high-communication speed enables it to send large quantities of data faster, according to