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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

SK Telecom’s ‘quantum cryptography’ chip to roll out next week

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Korean mobile carrier SK Telecom will commercialize its next-generation quantum cryptography chip next week, the industry’s first that can simultaneously generate unpredictable encryptions and develop algorithms to prevent hacking.

The product, known as “Q-HSM,” utilizes a quantum random number generator to continuously generate random numbers based on the movement of quantum particles. It was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2023 by SK Telecom and Korean IT firm KCS.

The latest update incorporates a new type of encryption called post-quantum cryptography (PQC), also known as post-quantum encryption, which firms such as Apple and Meta have recently begun rolling out across their communication platforms. PQC uses complex mathematics to preemptively defend against quantum attacks, or cyberattacks using quantum computers, that might come decades down the line.

A new quantum cryptography chip known as “Q-HSM” will roll out next week. [SK TELECOM]

The new chip also sports physical unclonable function technology, which creates unique “fingerprints,” leveraging randomness introduced during its manufacturing process, in order to prevent counterfeiting and other reproduction.

The new chip will be unveiled at this year’s “Quantum Korea 2024,” the largest domestic exhibition in the quantum field, which spans from Tuesday to Thursday at Kintex in Goyang, Gyeonggi. The chips will roll out in various sectors, such as drones, CCTV, home networks and low-power internet of things devices.

SKT and KCS are members of the larger enterprise alliance “X Quantum,” which also includes Sos Lab, Axgate, Wooriro, Nokia and IDQ Korea.

“With the official naming of the alliance as ‘X Quantum’ and the launch of the first commercial product, we are embarking on full-scale activities,” SK Telecom Global Solutions Office Manager Ha Min-yong said in a statement. “We will continue to introduce innovative quantum products and solutions, in collaboration with member companies, to establish ‘X Quantum’ as the representative name in Korea’s quantum ecosystem.”

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]