Toshiba launches global Quantum Key Distribution QKD business with UK factory

Toshiba launches global Quantum Key Distribution QKD business with UK factory

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Toshiba is launching a global business for quantum key distribution (QKD) systems with UK manufacturing  following its rollout of a UK network.

Toshiba Digital Solutions (TDSL) will start providing quantum key distribution (QKD) platforms with a system integration business in the fourth quarter of 2020. It has set up a manufacturing line in Cambridge, UK, for systems with production in Q3.

The company has developed two types of quantum key distribution platforms. One is a multiplexing platform that allows data and the quantum keys to be transmitted on the same fibre optic cable, eliminating the need for costly dedicated infrastructure for key distribution. The other is the platform for long-distance applications that maximizes speed and distance of key delivery.

Toshiba estimates the QKD market to grow to approximately $20bn by 2035 and the company aims to take 25 percent of the market (approximately $3bn) in 2030.

TDSL has been awarded the contract from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Japan to deploy and manage the QKD systems that will be installed at multiple locations on their network. Toshiba plans to deliver the system in the fourth quarter of FY2020 and the deployment will start to roll out from April 2021.

Outside of Japan, Toshiba Europe worked with BT on the UK’s first industrial deployment of a quantum-secure network, while in the US, Toshiba has participated in the recent QKD demonstration by Verizon Communications with Quantum Xchange. The company will collaborate with regional business partners not only in the UK and the US, but also in Europe and Asia from next year to promote the QKD system integration businesses worldwide.

 “At a time when both significant advancements are being made towards making the quantum computer a reality, and the almost constant state of data proliferation, the need for the secure transmission of sensitive information has never been more significant. With many trails and use cases now active across a broad spectrum of industries and across multiple regions, and with the development of high performing and stable systems, now is the right time to launch the QKD business” said Taro Shimada, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Toshiba Corporation, and also President and CEO of TDSL.

“Sectors such as finance, health and government are now realizing the need to invest in technology that will prepare and protect them for the quantum economy of the future. Our business plan goes far deeper and wider than selling quantum cryptographic hardware. We are developing a quantum platform and services that will not only deliver quantum keys and a quantum network, but ultimately enable the birth of a quantum internet.”

Toshiba plans to build a QKD network in Japan and other countries by 2025 and launch a QKD service for organizations focusing on financial institutions.

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