Honeywell-backed company to sell super secure quantum encryption key


An inside look at an ion trap within Quantinuum's quantum computer, which processes data using trapped-ion technology, Broomfield, U.S. in this handout picture from 2019. Picture taken 2019. Quantinuum/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Quantum computer software firm Cambridge Quantum said on Tuesday it was launching a platform that can generate super secure cryptographic keys and sell them as a commercial product.

The UK-based startup this year became a wholly owned subsidiary of Quantinuum, a quantum computer hardware and software company in which Honeywell International Inc has a 54% stake.

Cambridge Quantum uses the quantum computer to generate a particularly random encryption key, said its head of cybersecurity Duncan Jones in an interview with Reuters.

Quantum computers can generate a more random encryption key than classical computers which makes them more secure and less vulnerable to cyber attacks, he said.

Cambridge Quantum said it would target its "Quantum Origin" service to financial services firms and cybersecurity firms before expanding it to other high priority sectors, such as telecommunications, energy, manufacturing, defense and government.

"We have been working for a number of years now on a method to efficiently and effectively use the unique features of quantum computers in order to provide our customers with a defense against adversaries and criminals now and in the future once quantum computers are prevalent," Ilyas Khan, CEO of Quantinuum and founder of Cambridge Quantum said in a statement.

"Quantum Origin gives us the ability to be safe from the most sophisticated and powerful threats today as well threats from quantum computers in the future."

Quantum computers are based on quantum bits, or qubits, that can be set to one and zero at the same time, creating exponentially more paths than classical computers whose bits are either ones or zeros. Researchers believe quantum computers could operate millions of times faster than today’s advanced supercomputers.

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