BBN Technologies Smashes Speed Barriers with Worlds' Fastest Detector for Practical Quantum Cryptography; New Technology Enables Faster, Super Secure Communications over Greater Distances.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- BBN Technologies, an advanced technology and research and development firm, today announced a significant breakthrough in the world's first quantum cryptography network. In close collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology National Institute of Standards and Technology, governmental agency within the U.S. Dept. of Commerce with the mission of "working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards" in the national interest. (NIST (National Institute of Standards & Technology, Washington, DC, www.nist.gov) The standards-defining agency of the U.S. government, formerly the National Bureau of Standards. It is one of three agencies that fall under the Technology Administration (www.technology. ) in Boulder CO, BBN (BBN Technologies, Cambridge, MA, www.bbn.com) A consulting firm that participated in the development of some of the most extensive networks in the world, including ARPANET, which evolved into the Internet. It was founded in 1948 as a consulting service in acoustics by Dr. has successfully demonstrated a single-photon detector designed for standard telecom fibers that is 20 times faster than today's benchmark device and could produce even greater speed increases.
Greater speeds not only mean faster communications but, in a quantum cryptographic network, also enable greater distances. This breakthrough brings quantum communications beyond metropolitan distances closer to reality. Previously, the practical uses of quantum cryptography networks were limited by their relatively short range of transmission. Now, transmissions can travel over 100 km of telecommunications fiber to enable practical applications in any situation where an ultra-secure network would be useful, such as in banking or military communications.
"We've now demonstrated the first generation of ultra-fast detectors based on superconducting technology that permit extremely secure transmission of information at high rates and over longer distances," said Dr. Jonathan Habif, BBN Scientist who led BBN's detector team. "Detectors have been a terrible bottleneck before now, but our system runs 20 times faster and we've shown that it can run over 100 km of telecom fiber with our new single-photon detector. We expect to run much faster in the near future."
BBN and NIST built the new devices under DARPA DARPA: see Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) The name given to the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency during the 1980s. It was later renamed back to ARPA. sponsorship, in collaboration with the University of Rochester The University of Rochester (UR) is a private, coeducational and nonsectarian research university located in Rochester, New York. The university is one of 62 elected members of the Association of American Universities. in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology MIPT is famous in the countries of the former Soviet Union, but is less known abroad. This is largely due to the specifics of the MIPT educational process (see "Phystech System" below). . Laboratory trials have already confirmed continuous operation at a 100 million pulses per second. The technology is believed scalable to 10 billion pulses per second and beyond. The compact, rack-mounted detector system uses NIST-developed packaging and cooling technology which efficiently couples the superconducting detector to a standard telecom fiber and allows operation at a temperature of ~3K without using liquid cryogens.
BBN has operated the world's first quantum cryptography network, the DARPA Quantum Network, continuously since 2004, sending quantum keys between BBN, Harvard University and Boston University under the streets of Cambridge and Boston Mass. The network now has 10 nodes, exchanging quantum keys through both telecom fiber and the atmosphere.
The DARPA Quantum Network provides extremely high levels of information security guaranteed by the laws of quantum physics. It is fully integrated with the Internet and protects off-the-shelf Internet applications such as web surfing and video conferencing between the campuses.
Quantum cryptography is an approach to securing communications based on certain phenomena of Quantum physics, using single photons of light to distribute keys to encrypt and decrypt To convert secretly coded data (encrypted data) back into its original form. Contrast with encrypt. See plaintext and cryptography. messages. Quantum cryptography is focused on the physics of information. The process of sending and storing information is always carried out by physical means, for example photons in optical fibers or electrons in electrical current. Eavesdropping Secretly gaining unauthorized access to confidential communications. Examples include listening to radio transmissions or using laser interferometers to reconstitute conversations by reflecting laser beams off windows that are vibrating in synchrony to the sound in the room. can be viewed as measurements on a physical object -- in this case the carrier of the information. Using quantum phenomena allows for the design and implementation of a communication system which can always detect eavesdropping.
About BBN Technologies
BBN Technologies, an advanced technology and research and development firm, is focused on solving some of the world's most pressing problems. From national security, information security, speech recognition and language translation, to integrating disparate systems and networks, BBN has been at the forefront of technological change for over 50 years.
Known for pioneering the development of the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork) The research network funded by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The software was developed by Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), and Honeywell 516 minicomputers were the first hardware used as , the forerunner of the Internet, BBN continues to create advances in Internet and networking technologies through its work on ad-hoc networking, the semantic web, quantum communications, and advanced protocols. Building on its substantial list of firsts, BBN has created the first metro quantum cryptography network, the first real-time foreign broadcast monitoring system, and has developed the world's first stereoscopic stereoscopic /ster·eo·scop·ic/ (ster?e-o-skop´ik) having the effect of a stereoscope; giving objects a solid or three-dimensional appearance.
1. digital mammography system. For more information, visit bbn.com