Toshiba launches global quantum key distribution (QKD) business

The new quantum business venture by Toshiba will see the company providing QKD platforms and commence deployment of a system integration business in the fourth quarter of FY2020.

Toshiba plans to introduce two types of QKD platforms to promote the business. Firstly, a multiplexing platform that allows data and quantum keys to be transmitted on the same fibre is set to be developed, lowering costs by eliminating the need for extra infrastructure.

The second platform will be dedicated to maximising speed and distance of key delivery for long-distance applications. Both technologies will be exhibited at CEATEC 2020 ONILINE on the 20th-23rd October, and at IQT Europe on 26th-30th October.

In Japan, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (TDSL) has been permitted by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) to deploy and manage the QKD systems, which will be installed at multiple locations on their network.

Outside Japan, Toshiba Europe Ltd. have collaborated with BT Group to enable the first UK-based quantum-secure industrial network, and in the US, Toshiba has participated in the recent QKD demonstration by Verizon Communications, in alliance with Quantum Xchange.

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“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,” said Taro Shimada, senior vice-president and chief digital officer of Toshiba Corporation, and president and CEO of TDSL.

“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.

“Sectors such as finance, health and government are now realising 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.”

According to long term estimates from Toshiba, based on short to mid-term estimates by research firms, the QKD market is expected to grow to approximately $20 billion worldwide in FY2035.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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Quantum Computing