ID Quantique SA announced the successful completion of the longest running project for testing Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) in a field environment. The main goal of the SwissQuantum network, installed in the Geneva metropolitan area in March 2009, was to validate the reliability and robustness of QKD in continuous operation over a long time period in a field environment. The quantum layer ran stably for nearly 2 years until the completion of the project in January 2011, confirming the viability of QKD as a commercial encryption technology.
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), also known as Quantum Cryptography, exploits the laws of quantum physics to enhance the security of communications over modern optical networks. The quantum key servers exchange secret encryption keys encoded on photons over a network. The inherent laws of quantum physics (Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle) dictate that an eavesdropper can be detected, thereby resolving the security of the initial exchange of the symmetric keys - one of the main challenges and potential weak points of modern encryption solutions.