SK Telecom said Thursday it has signed deals with major tech firms to develop security products for self-driving vehicles, internet of things-devices and smartphones using its new quantum-powered security chipset.
Names of the partners were not disclosed.
Since 2018, SKT and Switzerland-based ID Quantique have been developing the quantum random number generator (QRNG) chipset for Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy A Quantum, together with fabless Korean company Btree, which specializes in designing hardware and semiconductor chipsets.
A chipset, which at 2.5 mm by 2.5 mm is the world’s smallest QRNG product, was launched in April.
The QRNG chipset boasts impenetrable encryption, the company said during a press event held at Btree’s headquarters in Geongnam, Gyeonggi Province.
The system, patented by ID Quantique, cannot be breached by computer logic as the codes are created by random movements of photons that travel between an LED light source and a CMOS image sensor equipped in the chipset, the company explained.
“The QRNG chipset can become an alternative encryption system in the advent of quantum computers, which can easily decode existing encryption systems,” said Uhm Sang-yun, ID Quantique’s branch manager here.
The chipset can also process 256,000 keys per second to encrypt and decrypt data or files -- a much larger capacity than existing 128-bit encryptions, Btree’s CTO Kim Hui-geol added.
SKT is currently looking into potential devices, self-driving vehicles and an array of IoT products for the application, it said.
“The company has the technology to apply the QRNG system to other products, including self-driving vehicles, but it could take some time to verify if the security system would meet criteria that manufacturers ask for,” Uhm said.
The quantum-powered encryption solution is currently applied to a total of three applications available on Samsung’s new smartphone model, and it would take a while to apply it to the whole smartphone system.
“Applying the system to a smartphone itself would take time as it requires us to work with operating system operators, like Google and Apple,” Uhm said.
“The company might have to also adjust the thickness of the chip to make it more compatible with different types of devices.”
Meanwhile, SKT said it will also announce a new public application programming interface to provide developers access to the solution.
By Shim Woo-hyun (email@example.com