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Affordable Communication for Everyone: Revolutionizing the Quantum Ecosystem from Fabrication to Application
(10/2018 – 9/2021)

AIm: Promoting quantum communications technology for data network security

COSMOTE participates in the European research project UNIQORN which aims at the development of a well-οrchestrated design and manufacturing framework to advance the quantum communication technology (for DV and CV) which is recognised as one of the pillars for the second quantum revolution thanks to its unique potential for information-theoretical data security systems. Towards this end, UNIQORN will develop high-performance, compact and cost-effective modules for practical implementations.

More specifically, component-wise, UNIQORN will leverage the monolithic integration potential of InP platform, the flexibility of polymer platform and low-cost assembly techniques to develop quantum system-on-chip modules in a cheap, scalable and reproducible way. UNIQORN will deliver bright (10M pairs/s/mW/THz) heralded, entangled and squeezed light sources with 70-fold size reduction and almost 90% cost savings, room-temperature arrayed SPADs and a 10-GHz CV receiver with low-noise TIAs. Fully functional systems based on these assets will include: (i) a network adapter card with integrated real-time QRNG engine, (ii) the first DPS transmitter as pluggable SFP module for low-cost 1-kb/s QKD, and (iii) novel oblivious transfer and quantum FPGA systems.

Network-integration and system evaluation in real fibre networks will be enabled by quantum-aware software defined networking and field trials in the live smart-city demonstrator Bristol-is-Open. The developed ecosystem will be also validated by pushing current QKD-centric work into higher grounds, and demonstrating one-time programs and secure database access through oblivious transfer. The trans-disciplinary approach of UNIQORN brings together leading European players from quantum optics and photonics enabling to move from lab science to field deployment and bridge the quantum divide between large (governmental) and small (residential) end-users.

COSMOTE will deliver within UNIQORN the operator view to introduce the end-to-end quantum links of the UNIQORN in state-of-play network infrastructures. COSMOTE will also contribute to the definition of quantum applications, providing feedback for the specifications of UNIQORN systems, the performance modelling of the quantum communication engines and mainly to the targeted use cases of the project, as well as to Bristol-is-Open smart-city field demonstrations by motivating input on the practical realization of network scenarios.

The project is co-funded by the EU through the Horizon 2020 Programme and will last 3 years; it is realized with the participation of 17 partners from 14 countries (Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Israel, Greece, Denmark, Italy, UK, Belgium) and is coordinated by AIT (Austria).

Field-deployed testbed for UNIQORN quantum network overlay (b) one-time programs,
(c) pluggable DPS QKD transmitter

For more information, please visit the project website: or/and watch the relevant video.