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Home > Press > New chip could bring highest level of encryption to any mobile device: First use of quantum technology to create a random number generator that is both tiny and fast Abstract: Random number generators are crucial to the encryption that protects our privacy and security when engaging in digital transactions such as buying products online or withdrawing cash from an ATM. For the first time, engineers have developed a fast random number generator based on a quantum mechanical process that could deliver the world's most secure encryption keys in a package tiny enough to use in a mobile device. In The Optical Society's journal for high impact research, Optica, the researchers report on their fully integrated device for random number generation. The new work represents a key advancement on the path to incorporating quantum-based random number generators -- delivering the highest quality numbers and thus the highest level of security -- into computers, tablets and mobile phones. "We've managed to put quantum-based technology that has been used in high profile science experiments into a package that might allow it to be used commercially," said the paper's first author, Carlos Abellan, a doctoral student at ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences, a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Spain. "This is likely just one example of quantum technologies that will soon be available for use in real commercial products. It is a big step forward as far as integration is concerned." The new device operates at speeds in the range of gigabits per second, fast enough for real-time encryption of communication data, such as a phone or video calls, or for encrypting large amounts of data traveling to and from a server like that used by a social media platform. It could also find use in stock market predictions and complex scientific simulations of random processes, such as biological interactions or nuclear reactions. Shrinking the truly random The random number generators used today are based on computer algorithms or the randomness of physical processes -- essentially complex versions of rolling dice over and over again to get random numbers. Although the numbers generated appear to be random, knowing certain information, such as how many "dice" are being used, can allow hackers to sometimes figure out the numbers, leaving secured data vulnerable to hacking. The new device, however, generates random numbers based on the quantum properties of light, a process that is inherently random and thus impossible to predict no matter how much information is known. Although other researchers have developed quantum random number generators, they have all been either larger or slower than the device reported in the Optica paper. "We have previously shown that the quantum processes taking place exhibit true randomness," said Valerio Pruneri, who led the collaborative research effort. "In this new paper, we made a huge technological advance by using a new design that includes two lasers that interfere with each other in a confined space. This makes the device smaller while keeping the same properties that were used in the past experiments." Creating a practical device The researchers used photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology to create two quantum number generators that together measure 6 by 2 millimeters. PIC technology offers a way to integrate photonic components -- such as the lasers and detectors used by the new quantum random generator -- onto a chip with a small footprint and low power consumption. Most importantly, PIC-based devices can be integrated with traditional electronics, which could allow the random number generator to be used with the driving, reading and processing electronics necessary for computation or communications. "We proved that quantum technologies are within practical reach by exploiting PICs," said Pruneri. "Quantum random number generation as well as quantum cryptography and other quantum-based technologies will benefit from PIC-based technology because it allows one to build commercial and innovative products. Ours is a first demonstration." This work was a multi-institutional effort that included researchers from ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences, VLC Photonics S.L., Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, ICREA- Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats, all in Spain, as well as Politecnico di Milano in Italy. About The Optical Society Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit osa.org/100. About Optica Optica is an open-access, online-only journal dedicated to the rapid dissemination of high-impact peer-reviewed research across the entire spectrum of optics and photonics. Published monthly by The Optical Society (OSA), Optica provides a forum for pioneering research to be swiftly accessed by the international community, whether that research is theoretical or experimental, fundamental or applied. Optica maintains a distinguished editorial board of more than 40 associate editors from around the world and is overseen by Editor-in-Chief Alex Gaeta, Columbia University, USA. For more information, visit Optica. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article
Site: http://phys.org/physics-news/

In The Optical Society's journal for high impact research, Optica, the researchers report on their fully integrated device for random number generation. The new work represents a key advancement on the path to incorporating quantum-based random number generators—delivering the highest quality numbers and thus the highest level of security—into computers, tablets and mobile phones. "We've managed to put quantum-based technology that has been used in high profile science experiments into a package that might allow it to be used commercially," said the paper's first author, Carlos Abellan, a doctoral student at ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences, a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Spain. "This is likely just one example of quantum technologies that will soon be available for use in real commercial products. It is a big step forward as far as integration is concerned." The new device operates at speeds in the range of gigabits per second, fast enough for real-time encryption of communication data, such as a phone or video calls, or for encrypting large amounts of data traveling to and from a server like that used by a social media platform. It could also find use in stock market predictions and complex scientific simulations of random processes, such as biological interactions or nuclear reactions. The random number generators used today are based on computer algorithms or the randomness of physical processes—essentially complex versions of rolling dice over and over again to get random numbers. Although the numbers generated appear to be random, knowing certain information, such as how many "dice" are being used, can allow hackers to sometimes figure out the numbers, leaving secured data vulnerable to hacking. The new device, however, generates random numbers based on the quantum properties of light, a process that is inherently random and thus impossible to predict no matter how much information is known. Although other researchers have developed quantum random number generators, they have all been either larger or slower than the device reported in the Optica paper. "We have previously shown that the quantum processes taking place exhibit true randomness," said Valerio Pruneri, who led the collaborative research effort. "In this new paper, we made a huge technological advance by using a new design that includes two lasers that interfere with each other in a confined space. This makes the device smaller while keeping the same properties that were used in the past experiments." The researchers used photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology to create two quantum number generators that together measure 6 by 2 millimeters. PIC technology offers a way to integrate photonic components—such as the lasers and detectors used by the new quantum random generator—onto a chip with a small footprint and low power consumption. Most importantly, PIC-based devices can be integrated with traditional electronics, which could allow the random number generator to be used with the driving, reading and processing electronics necessary for computation or communications. "We proved that quantum technologies are within practical reach by exploiting PICs," said Pruneri. "Quantum random number generation as well as quantum cryptography and other quantum-based technologies will benefit from PIC-based technology because it allows one to build commercial and innovative products. Ours is a first demonstration." This work was a multi-institutional effort that included researchers from ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences, VLC Photonics S.L., Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, ICREA- Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats, all in Spain, as well as Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Explore further: Geneva scientists focus on phone cameras for random number generation More information: C. Abellan, W. Amaya, D. Domenech, P. Muñoz, J. Capmany, S. Longhi, M.W. Mitchell, V. Pruneri. "A quantum entropy source on an InP photonic integrated circuit for random number generation," Optica, 3, 9, 989 (2016). DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.000989


Uribesalgo I.,Center for Genomic Regulation | di Croce L.,ICREA
Briefings in Functional Genomics | Year: 2011

Chromatin modifications at both histones and DNA are critical for regulating gene expression. Mis-regulation of such epigenetic marks can lead to pathological states; indeed, cancer affecting the hematopoietic system is frequently linked to epigenetic abnormalities. Here, we discuss the different types of modifications and their general impact on transcription, as well as the polycomb group of proteins, which effect transcriptional repression and are often mis-regulated. Further, we discuss how chromosomal translocations leading to fusion proteins can aberrantly regulate gene transcription through chromatin modifications within the hematopoietic system. PML-RARa, AML1-ETO and MLL-fusions are examples of fusion proteins that mis-regulate epigenetic modifications (either directly or indirectly), which can lead to acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML). An in-depth understanding of the mechanisms behind the mis-regulation of epigenetic modifications that lead to the development and progression of AMLs could be critical for designing effective treatments. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source


News Article | October 23, 2015
Site: http://phys.org/physics-news/

Random number generators developed at ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences, by the groups of ICREA Professors Morgan W. Mitchell and Valerio Pruneri, played a critical role in the historic experiment was published online today in Nature by the group of Ronald Hanson at TU Delft. The experiment gives the strongest refutation to date of Albert Einstein's principle of "local realism," which says that the universe obeys laws, not chance, and that there is no communication faster than light.


News Article
Site: http://phys.org/physics-news/

The authors of the review, all of whom have played an influential role in the development of the field, are Prof Jairo Sinova, (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany and Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, ASCR, Czech Republic), ICREA Prof Sergio O. Valenzuela, Group Leader of the Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), Prof J. Wunderlich (ASCR, Czech Republic and Hitachi UK), Prof C. H. Back (Universität Regensburg, Germany) and Prof T. Jungwirth (ASCR, Czech Republic and University of Nottingham UK). The spin Hall effect is a collection of relativistic spin-orbit coupling phenomena in which electrical currents generate transverse spin currents and vice versa. The review describes the rapid development of this sub-field of spintronics, providing an overview of the current experimental understanding and of the theoretical tools that are used to describe it, including their level of success and limitations. The review also connects the spin Hall effect with important related phenomena, and describes their potential for applications, particularly in the area of magnetization dynamics. The article starts with a short chronological description of the evolution of the spin Hall effect field and the resolution of some early controversies. The main body of the review deepens into the theoretical and experimental approaches. It is structured from a pedagogical point of view, focusing on well-established and accepted physics. At the end, the authors also outline from their personal perspective some of the remaining challenges and opportunities, underlining how the spin Hall effect research relates to other emerging fields, which include topics such as graphene and other 2D systems, topological insulators and spin-caloritronics. They argue that the future of the field is exciting and that new fundamental physics concepts and disruptive technologies are to be expected. Explore further: A new, tunable device for spintronics

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