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Optica Publishing Group
  • Journal of Lightwave Technology
  • Vol. 40,
  • Issue 23,
  • pp. 7498-7517
  • (2022)

Integrated QKD and QRNG Photonic Technologies

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Abstract

Quantum key distribution (QKD) and quantum random number generation (QRNG) will play a key role in the future of data communication security. QKD can be used by trusted parties to share a secret key, leading to long-term secure communications. QRNG allows the production of fully unpredictable and certifiable random numbers, which can be used in numerous applications, including cryptography and large stochastic simulations. Both QKD and QRNG can be implemented using commercially available photonic components, which are mostly bulky and assembled into a discrete module. Although this approach can benefit from the superior performance and maturity of each individual component, it does not guarantee the large-scale deployment and commercial viability of the technology. A preferable alternative relies on integrating some or all functionalities in a single photonic integrated circuit (PIC) fabricated at the wafer scale, in this way reducing size, weight, complexity, cost, and power consumption. Integrated photonics can thus dramatically improve the performance and reliability of QKD systems and QRNG devices. Here, we review recent literature on designs, related materials, and fabrication processes, which is representative of state-of-the-art PIC-based QKD and QRNG. We conclude the paper by pointing out the challenges that need to be addressed in the future for reaching a wide-scale deployment of these integrated technologies.

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