Unifying LiFi with QKD

19 June 2023

Quantum technology opens up many new areas of application, however, it also harbours risks. Due to their enormous computing power, quantum computers could undermine even the most modern encryption methods.

In addition to today’s quantum computers, quantum imaging and quantum clocks, developments are focusing primarily on quantum communication and quantum encryption for secure and private data communication.

Traditional encryption approaches based on computational complexity will be replaced by novel quantum key distribution (QKD) approaches in combination with post-quantum cryptography. This type of encryption cannot be cracked even with arbitrary time and computational power.

Previous research has focused on long-distance secure data communication for applications in the global data infrastructure, for networking government or military facilities, or for information exchange with satellites. However, the last mile connections to the end user have so far still been served by traditional technologies and remain vulnerable to attack.

To prevent this in the future, the Quantum-based Infrastructure Networks for Safety-critical Wireless Data Communication (QuINSiDa) project was launched. Partners led by KEEQuant GmbH are developing a new approach to secure optical data transmission in wireless networks using light and quantum keys.

Li-Fi allows users to network over short distances using optical signals which do not penetrate walls and can thus be designed for a defined area. Meanwhile, QKD makes it possible to distribute a cryptographic key whose security can be proven.

The QuINSiDa project is the first to combine both technologies into a ‘QKD over Li-Fi’ system.

This makes it possible to carry QKD, which until now has typically been thought of more in a building-to-building scenario, all the way to the end user.