Translating Quantum Technology into Practice. In June 2018, researchers in the launched the U.K.’s first quantum network. The metro-area network provides secure quantum communications between Cambridge University’s Electrical Engineering Division in West Cambridge and Toshiba Research Europe Ltd (TREL).
The network has since been extended to other sites around the U.K., including a research and development center in Ipswich. Presently, the quantum network is being extended to the National Physical Laboratory in London and the University of Bristol.
“In addition to the continued growth and development of the quantum network, the researchers are also investigating other ways that quantum technology could be used to secure information. For example, instead of counting individual photons, it could be possible to measure the amplitude and phase properties of pulses.” In doing so, current “off the shelf” technology could be used in place of developing entirely new hardware and devices.
The cost savings, availability of hardware, and speed to market would be greatly enhanced.
Not only is the network providing security and potential for lower-cost implementation, it has the highest quantum key rate in the world – it’s the fastest quantum network.
The network architecture secures a data network in Cambridge that runs at roughly five times the capacity of the entire Cambridge University network, with greater speeds being attained as the expansion continues. The new extensions of the quantum network provides a throughput that “is comparable with the highest data capacity links in the UK.”