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NUS and ST Engineering collaborate to leverage Quantum Cryptography Technology

ST Engineering and the National University of Singapore have joined forces to develop network encryption solutions that provide superior security by leveraging quantum cryptography technology. The collaboration is supported under the National Research Foundation’s Quantum Engineering Programme.

Mr George Loh, Director of NRF’s Services & Digital Economy, said, “As the use of digital technologies and services become increasingly mainstream, it is important that we find better ways to ensure our online engagement and digital privacy is more secure than ever.”

“The objective of the National Quantum Engineering Programme, launched by NRF in late 2018, is to translate quantum research into tech-enabled capabilities that can benefit society and beyond. The research partnership between ST Engineering and NUS is testament to the success of deep-tech capability collaboration between academia and industry, which is based on strong foundational quantum science research at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore” said the Director of NRF’s Services & Digital Economy.

The partnership between ST Engineering and NUS is part of NRF’s QEP initiative that was announced in 2018 to help Singapore’s industries compete at the global forefront of innovation and enterprise, by tapping world-class expertise in the scientific research community.

Mr Goh Eng Choon, President of Cybersecurity Systems Group at ST Engineering, said, “The threat landscape is evolving very rapidly and we must be prepared for challenges to come in the post-quantum computing era. While QKD technology can be used to secure digital communications, it can also be used to mitigate future quantum computers being used to exploit and maliciously target weak links and disrupt the global encryption ecosystem.”

“This research into quantum cryptography and the co-development of the industry’s first solution will allow us to explore the potential of this technology, further strengthen our arsenal of advanced cybersecurity solutions and gain a foothold in the QKD market” said the President of Cybersecurity Systems Group at ST Engineering.

The collaboration between ST Engineering and NUS will take this to the next level by using “measurement-device-independent” QKD (MDI-QKD) technology to heighten cybersecurity defence against increasingly sophisticated threats. It also operates efficiently under real-world conditions.

NUS researchers and ST Engineering engineers will make advanced quantum cryptography more accessible to the wider market and further advance this technology by developing a new class of “quantum-resilient encryptors”. These encryptors provide a highly scalable and cost-effective solution that can be deployed with minimal disruption to existing digital infrastructure.

This addresses the current limitations in the market as products are designed for point-to-point communication and are not scalable. This will also accommodate a larger number of users, and will benefit numerous applications – from financial services institutions, to government agencies, and hospitals.

NUS Assistant Professor Charles Lim Ci Wen, who is the project leader for this collaboration between NUS and ST Engineering, said, “As quantum computing becomes more prevalent worldwide, information security threats will also become more advanced. This collaboration which leverages MDI-QKD will lead to quantum-resilient encryptors that are not only secure against channel attacks but also against detection side-channel attacks.

Asst Prof Lim, who is also an NRF Fellow and a Principal Investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at NUS, added, “Additionally, this collaboration provides a fantastic opportunity to explore how chip-based quantum devices can be integrated into commercial network encryptors, which could significantly reduce the cost of QKD technology.”

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