The task of this section is to represent the technology utilized in the SECOQC prototype.
One can differentiate two different classes of technology:
- Enabling QKD-technology or the art of producing efficient (high-rate, long-distance) and stable (with respect to environmental fluctuations and operating conditions) QKD-devices, which continuously provide a point-to-point information-theoretically secure key. This is a principally novel resource which can not be ensured by any other practicable method. It allows unconditionally secure point-to-point or link-communication.
Network-wide key distribution equipment. This equipment, basically key-repeaters or node-modules that ensure transparent information-theoretically secure key-distribution across the network over secure point-to-point links, is essentially a classical one. The node modules run dedicated novel protocols, developed in a broad interdisciplinary effort involving cryptography, network-design, software architecture, and engineering.