Japan starts working on Quantum Cryptography Network

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Japanese government invites dozen Japanese companies to work on the next level of encryption technology called “quantum cryptography network”

Japan has started working on the Quantum Cryptography Network. Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has invited a dozen Japanese tech firms and organizations to be part of the project. It has also named Toshiba as a lead contractor for the Quantum Cryptography project. Other tech companies and organizations included in the group are NEC and Mitsubishi Electric, University of Tokyo, and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.

Many technical experts have warned that once quantum computing becomes a day to day affair, the current encryption standards will become obsolete. There is a fear that super-high-speed quantum computers could crack the hardest of the currency available encryption standards like TripleDES, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), and others with ease. Keeping this in mind, the Japanese government has initiated the project for commercializing the new Quantum Cryptography Network. It is assumed that the global demand for quantum cryptography is expected to grow manifold, especially in defense and finance.

The Japanese government will provide $13.3 million seed funding for the QCN initially. It is a five-year project and aims to develop:

  • Quantum Communications Link Technology
  • Trusted Node Technology
  • Quantum Relay Technology
  • Wide-area network construction and operation technology,

The shortlisted firms will explore the possibility of extending the distance over which data communications are unbreakable. It will also aim for encryption that is secure even for ultra-fast, high volume 5G networks.

Toshiba, the lead contractor said that it will build a Quantum Cryptography Network-enabled wide-area network with 100 quantum cryptographic devices and 10,000 users around the world. Toshiba holds most patents in this area, followed by NEC. It also has a quantum computing lab in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Toshiba said that the consortium will commercialize the technology worldwide once it is operational.

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