Photonic quantum computers can break encryption 700x faster

Photonic quantum computers can break encryption 700x faster

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Cette publication existe aussi en Français

PsiQuantum has shown its photonic fault tolerant quantum computer architecture can break Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) 700 times faster than other quantum machines.

A paper describes a more efficient method to break ECC which is widely used for secure communications. This approach uses techniques especially applicable to photonic architectures and reduces the number of gate operations required to break an ECC key by up to 80% as well as a 700x reduction in computation time relative to the state-of-the-art quantum algorithms.

This active volume architecture leverages long-range connections within the quantum computer and results in a 700x reduction in the computational resource requirements for breaking ECC keys relative to state-of-the-art quantum algorithms. This is also orders of magnitude less time to compute than the billions of years required by conventional computers to break a 256bit ECC key.

However cracking 256-bit ECC keys still requires quantum computers having millions of physical qubits. Even though photonic quantum computers can reduce the size of the required system, this still requires a machine much larger than today.

Both RSA and ECC keys could be easily broken using large-scale quantum computers. Algorithms have been discovered for quantum computers that can, unlike conventional computers, efficiently reverse the mathematical operations at the heart of RSA and ECC. Several research papers have explored quantum algorithms for the generation of RSA and ECC keys in the past decades. Although it involves more mathematically complex operations, breaking 256-bit ECC keys is easier than breaking 2048-bit RSA keys, thanks to the shorter keys needing fewer resource-intensive arithmetic operations.

The active volume compilation technique is especially applicable to photonic architectures rather than matter-based qubits such as ion traps or superconducting qubits.

“These results illustrate a characteristic property of the field of quantum computing, which is that while much progress is made through slow and painful incremental development, it is also not surprising to see huge leaps forward by an order of magnitude or more. Because of this unpredictability, as well as the high potential impact of the technology, companies and organizations which are developing quantum computers carry a serious responsibility to ensure that quantum computing is deployed in a responsible and appropriately transparent way. This is why we are choosing to publish our methods in the public domain,” said Prof. Terry Rudolph, Chief Architect and Co-Founder at PsiQuantum.


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