Startup raises £1.4m for quantum photonic chip development

Startup raises £1.4m for quantum photonic chip development

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

AegiQ, a quantum photonics spin-out of the University of Sheffield has raised £1.4m (€1.5m) from Innovate UK to develop secure communication chips for fibre-optic and satellite based applications.

AegiQ will join a global pilot project with BT to provide scalable, high-performing semiconductor technology for next generation telecoms. The funding is part of a consortium building a Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) payload for satellites.

AegiQ is using compound III-V semiconductors for the quantum photonics using existing industrial processing techniques.  

“Existing software-based encryption of telecom networks is vulnerable to quantum attack,” commented Scott Dufferwiel, AegiQ’s CTO. “The risks are losing control of our communications and being faced with massively compromised security from quantum hackers. With the rise of quantum computing, standard encryption methods are no longer fit for purpose. A wide range of industries will require these quantum solutions in the near term.”

 “Thousands of AegiQ systems will be required in each data centre around the world, as they transition to using quantum technologies for communication and cloud computing. Deploying our scalable technology with mass production capabilities into initiatives like this project will position the UK as a world-leader in manufacturing quantum communications,” said Dr. Max Sich.

 AegiQ is currently raising its seed round of investment. The Innovate UK funding will also enable the company to invest in the further R&D and production of its technology.

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