The Quantum Engineering Program (QEP) Singapore, hosted by the National University of Singapore (NUS), has launched the National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN) and will begin conducting trials for government agencies and private companies willing to adopt the technology.
The network will provide two key technologies, namely quantum key distribution and post-quantum cryptography. The former is a hardware-based approach to secure quantum communication requiring the installation of devices to create and receive quantum signals, while the latter upgrades software to run new cryptographic algorithms perceived to be resistant to attacks from quantum computers.
The initiative will cost around S$8.5 million over three years and will involve more than 15 private and government collaborators, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Thales. The launch follows a memorandum of understanding signed by AWS and NUS to develop new quantum communication and computing technology capabilities.
The collaboration between QEP and AWS should accelerate the development of innovations and solutions in the field. The QEP is a national initiative launched in 2018 by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF). Quantum technologies have been identified as a key technology area under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) Plan 2025, managed by NRF.
With the new initiative in place, the NQSN and its collaborators will deploy commercial technologies for trials, perform an in-depth assessment of security systems, and develop guidelines to help companies adopt these technologies.
“In NQSN, we will bring quantum innovation to deployed optical networks, where we can study operational issues such as the reliability and resilience of a quantum network with our industry partners,” said Assistant Professor Charles Lim. , Principal Investigator (PI) for the NQSN. . Lim is from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Center for Quantum Technologies at NUS.
The project’s research team expects the first nodes to be operational within a year. They will simultaneously establish a Quantum Security Lab to delve into advanced research on quantum security vulnerabilities and secure design. They will also organize workshops with potential end users to better understand their needs and make them aware of the new technologies available.
Currently, there are plans to deploy 10 network nodes across Singapore connected to fiber. This includes two at NUS, two at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), and various government and private company premises.
The nodes will be connected to provide a public network that can act as a living laboratory for organizations wishing to experiment with quantum-safe communication technologies, and separate government and private networks testing applications from dedicated users.
Another experimental node at NUS will establish a free-space connection with the public network, developing technologies capable of extending secure links to places that cannot be connected to fiber or that move frequently, such as boats.
“The NQSN aims to improve network security for critical infrastructure with superior quantum technology and solutions, while serving as a robust platform for public-private collaboration,” said Ling Keok Tong, Director (Smart Nation & Digital Economy) at NRF.
The 15 participating organizations will contribute in different ways to the network. NUS, NTU and Fraunhofer Singapore will provide expertise, coordination and locations for the materials.
AWS, Singapore Government Technology Agency, National Supercomputing Center (NSCC) Singapore and ST Telemedia Global Data Centers will contribute to the development of use cases. ST Engineering and Thales will work on network security, providing hardware for network integration.
Other partners involved are the Singapore Cyber Security Agency (CSA), Defense Science and Technology Agency, HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency), DSO National Laboratories, Horizon Quantum Computing, as well as the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
Tags Amazon Web Servicesquantum technologiesNUS