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S. Korean quantum computing scientists working on next-generation networks and 'unhackable' technologies
Updated: 2019-07-08 17:02:30 KST
South Korean researchers are working on the building blocks of super computing networks that are hundreds of thousands of times faster and more secure than present-day technology.
Quantum computing researchers at Korea Institute for Science and Technology have developed ways use diamond structures to produce qubits.

Normal computers store and send data in binary form, as either ones or zeros.
However, quantum computers use qubits, which can exist as a one and a zero at the same time, in what's called a state of "superposition".

As both possibilities exist, this increases the amount of data the computer can store or process, meaning it can run through all possible outcomes at once.
However, it's not just the number of qubits that matter-- as they are largely volatile, keeping them isolated, and in a workable state, is one of the biggest hurdles in quantum computing.

"We use spin qubits to develop our system. The advantage of using Nitrogen-Vacancy color centers in diamonds to make qubits allows them to work better at room temperature, and there is also good connectivity with photons. We can also incorporate semiconductor processes to produce qubits."

Scientists around the world are working to obtain the "quantum advantage" or reach the point where quantum computers can significantly beat traditional computers at solving complex problems.
Most expect this would require at least 50 to 100 stable qubits.
Quantum cryptography is another promising field, being the closest commercial application of quantum technology.

From using secured wifi to controlling power grids, encrypted networks are vital to security on individual, business and national levels.
Using the quantum principles of physics could help make networks unhackable.
A secret key is distributed between two parties and cannot be intercepted without collapsing.

"Traditional networks are secured with mathematical problems, or encryption, which can be resolved, and thus hacked. But by using random values and the BB84 protocol, we can check error rates to detect hacking attempts. While quantum network equipment has mostly enabled data senders to connect with a single receiver, or client, we have successfully tested a system with multiple receivers.

Han's team aims to develop this multiple receiver system, and make the equipment smaller while as increasing the distance of data transfers.
Korea's science ministry aims to invest 37 million U.S. dollars over the next five years to develop a five-qubit quantum computer, and a 100-cubit machine by 2027.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.
Reporter : osy@arirang.com