A Quantum Smartphone? Samsung and SK Telecom Super Secured by ID Quantique’s Quantum Chip

Models show off quantum smartphone
Models show off quantum smartphone

A new smartphone will use quantum technology to enhance security, according to an announcement from Samsung and SK Telecom.

Before you begin dreaming of all the apps you’ll be able to download on a phone-sized quantum computer, the companies want to make sure you know that the quantum element of this chip is a random-number generator. But, with that in mind, the quantum number generator chip is an impressive baby step into the quantum era and a step that bolsters the security of their device.

The company claims that the phone, called the Galaxy A Quantum, has the world’s smallest quantum random number generator (QRNG) chipset that enhances data security on the device. SK Telecom added in a post that the QRNG chipset can generate unpredictable and patternless random numbers, which allows safer and more secure access to services like authentication and payments on their phones. The phone also generates encryption keys for the services based on the random number provided by the chipset to strengthen service security.

“All services go through an encryption-decryption process when data is stored or exchanged, and an encryption key is essential,” the company reported.

Here’s how it works: The chipset has a CMOS image sensor that detects light (photons) emitted by LED to generate random numbers that are “unpredictable”. The chipset provides these random numbers to generate encryption keys that help protect users’ personal information.

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Swiss-Based Supplier

Swiss-based ID Quantique designed the random number generator chip that is used in the phone.

In many ways, the device is a countermeasure to what many telecome experts perceive to be the potential threat of quantum computers. The phone’s quantum security technologies can be seen as a counterweight against quantum computers that can be used to harm security of systems.

The company also released the phone specs. It has a 6.7-inch Infinity-O Super AMOLED display and is powered by Exynos 980 SoC. The price of the phone has been set at KRW 640,000 wons, or about $518. The Galaxy A Quantum will go on sale on May 25.

Apart from the QRNG chipset, the phone appears to be the same as the Samsung Galaxy A71 5G. The Galaxy A71 5G was launched last month in the US.

Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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