Quantum Random Number Generators (QRNGs) have utterly transformed since their first introduction. So, let’s take a look at some of the biggest QRNG breakthroughs, and how this takes Random Number Generators (RNGs) to the next level.
The Biggest QRNG Breakthroughs
1. Photonic Chip
There are many different applications of RNGs – but, put simply, they generate numbers randomly in a sequence that cannot be predetermined. This digitizes the essence of randomness and luck, just like rolling a dice, spinning a wheel, or dealing out cards.
For example, when you play bonanza slots at an online casino, RNGs mimic the same element of luck that players would get by pulling a physical handle to spin the slot game reels. The RNG randomly decides what symbols will land on the reels, ensuring the results are unpredictable and authentic.
Elsewhere, however, such as in online security, RNGs need to be even more random – and that’s where QRNGs come in. QRNGs need to meet a specific standard for use in IT security, but this can make for bulky solutions. Instead, the German Ministry for Research and Education (BMBF) has funded a project that aims to create a quantum photonic chip that meets the Common Criteria AIS 20/31 PTG.3 for security applications, whilst keeping a compact design.
Despite its small size, the QRNG chip is hoped to be powerful, generating a noise bit rate of 5 Gbit/s, and will be a fully integrated solution. The silicon-germanium chip will be tested in two separate Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) applications during development.
2. Portable Device
Also focussing on the size of QRNGs is SeQure Quantum, which recently partnered with the Thales Group in its efforts to create a portable QRNG device. The device has the ability to produce both random numbers and cryptographic keys using an inbuilt QRNG.
This portable device is said to be a comprehensive solution thanks to additional features such as an online authenticator and the ability to detect cyberattacks in real-time. Due to these capabilities, the device could be potentially picked up by the defense sector of the European Union.
But, they have not finished innovating. SeQure Quantum is looking to offer the technology as a fully licensed cloud-based software as a service (SaaS). Through this adaptability, users can choose whether physical hardware or SaaS would be best suited to their business.
3. True Quantum Randomness
As the power of quantum computing steadily increases, there have been concerns that quantum computers could pose a threat to QRNGs. Though this is not a huge concern in everyday applications, this could pose a challenge to wider issues like national security. With this in mind, the Los Alamos National Labs (LANL) partnered with Qrypt to reduce the risk of threat from quantum computing.
Through this cooperative research and development, they were able to develop a state-of-the-art QRNG. This QRNG works alongside quantum entropy and quantum key generation capabilities in order to deliver reliable true quantum randomness. This can be leveraged in cryptographic security which can easily be scaled to suit large applications.
This is said to be a huge breakthrough for QRNGs, as the randomness is provable. By utilizing photon bunching, the randomness can be tested and verified, allowing the assurance of truly unpredictable numbers.
And there you have it – just a few breakthrough QRNG technologies that are paving the way for a new generation of RNGs. As for what the future might hold, and to what extent they will affect everyday security applications, we’ll just have to wait and see.