Quantum physics

Inspiration from quantum physics to improve security in wireless devices.

Inspiration from quantum physics to improve security in wireless devices.

The innovation comes to us from the University of Illinois Chicago, supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, a group of electrical engineers have been researching ways to create more secure devices, and according to the article published on the Nature Communications portal, they have come up with a method, inspired by quantum physics, that could improve the identification of wireless devices and protect device-to-device communication.

By using a unique, random fingerprint to create a hardware encryption system that is virtually unbreakable, according to the researchers.

The team was led by Pai-Yen Chen and explained that they used a theory of quantum physics in mathematical experiments to identify an "exceptional divergent point." Quantum physics describes systems for which precise measurement is difficult or impossible.

A quantum state describes a parameter space or a range of possible measurements; within these states there are exceptional points where the uncertainty of the system is maximal.

Chen and his colleagues designed a mathematical approach that can identify these exceptional points in a radio frequency identification system, a technology used by access cards, key fobs and other devices that unlock or communicate with nearby sensors.

Traditional radio frequency identification, or RFID, systems base their security on encrypted keys that are stored inside memory chips, which are vulnerable to attack and limited in size. Chen's team developed new RFID blocking and tagging devices that use the exceptional point algorithm to create a secure signal.

Since each piece of hardware is slightly different due to small variations during the manufacturing process, each RFID device produces its own unique fingerprint using the maximized uncertainty in the exceptional point.

In addition, Chen noted that this technology is low-cost and variable, making it suitable for access cards and near-field communication devices that are mass-produced and more sensitive to attacks.

"This research shows the potential of using RF and analog technologies to significantly improve the security of wireless devices," said Jenshan Lin, program manager in NSF's Engineering Directorate.

Wireless devices can become more secure and reliable if quantum physics is applied to prevent information and data theft and digital data breaches, a more reliable world is a world that technology is always looking to deliver.

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18 de Julio, 2023