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SEALSQ CEO Carlos Moreira on Post-Quantum Computing, AI & Semiconductors

SEALSQ

Last week, The Quantum Insider reported that SEALSQ — a company that focuses on developing and selling semiconductors, PKI and Post-Quantum technology hardware and software products — announced it had begun trading ordinary shares on the Nasdaq Global Market.

After this announcement, CEO Carlos Moreira joined TD Ameritrade Network’s Caroline Woods to discuss how SEALSQ combines quantum-resistant cryptography with AI while also going over the role of post-quantum microprocessors in data and communications security.

The first question put to Moreira was simple, what exactly does SEALSQ do?

“So, quantum is coming. We are about three to four years to having quantum computers and once they arrive this amazing capability will break every existing crypto,” said Moreira, adding that you have to prepare microchips to be quantum-ready.

Moreira said that when you have the quantum computer, the quantum-ready semiconductor will be able to defend the attack and everything else will be available to be compromised.

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“Imagine the consequences, algorithms like RSA, like Triple DES, all of them will be compromised once you have quantum computers and some of them obviously will be in the hands of the wrong people,” said Moreira.

The World of IoT

SEALSQ’s CEO believes we need to defend the IoT environment, as it is connecting seven trillion chips as we move forward and connecting everything to the internet.

“If you don’t have the security on the chips,” he continued, “quantum computers will be able to break, so it’s essential then in order to protect the infrastructure we develop this type of next-generation microchip — this is what we’re doing at SEALSQ.

The question to Moreira was then on the benefits of SEALSQ in terms of securing this space.

“Imagine that you are connecting things in your house, you’re connecting IoT devices, your thermostat, your smart fridge, those devices without microchips, security will be available to be hacked, and it’s just enough that you have one of those devices which is insecure, then a hacker will find it and will compromise the rest of the infrastructure, whether it’s in your house, whether it’s in an airport, whether it’s in a medical facility in a hospital, so the consequences are very serious because the penetration possibilities on insecure infrastructure are very, very high,” said Moreira, though honest enough to admit that the market is not yet there at the moment.

“I mean,” he went on, “we are only connecting a few things like mobile phones. But, as I mentioned before, there are trillions of things that need to be connected, and the embedding security at the chip level is essential.”

He also said that many of the objects that connect do not even have chips, before saying that the semiconductors provided by SEALSQ are now connecting security in drones, satellites, cars, routers, medical implants, all easily compromised without that security.

As a sign of the times, TD Ameritrade Network asked Moreira about how much of a growth driver AI was for his company.

The Role of AI

“We need to use AI in order to prevent a cyber-attack happening in a specific device,” said Moreira, “so all the analytics, all the exabytes of data we collect, are then processed by AI algorithms we use as a way to define predictability analysis where this object is going to be at risk, whether you need maintenance on the object, whether the object is going to be shutting down because electrical failure so all that predictability analysis is done by AI algorithms.”

He also mentioned the fact that AI will be augmented and will become much more powerful once quantum capabilities reach a certain point.

Rivers into a Lake

“Quantum computers have unlimited quantum power and that means that you will be able to process very complex AI algorithm processing capabilities, for instance, to find a new cancer drug or find solutions for environmental disasters,” said Moreira, pointing out in the process that the good news is that technology is converging. “You have now blockchain, AI, quantum, IoT, cybersecurity, converging between themselves like rivers into a lake and that’s the most efficient way to use AI when you have those older integrations coming into your company like it is the case with SEALSQ.”

As well as talking about quantum and AI, Moreira opined on taking back control of semiconductor fab centres.

“We are a French company with very strong penetration in Europe. […] We believe semiconductors are going to grow very fast here because the United Nations has reached the conclusion — which is also the European Union’s conclusion — that we need to decouple the dependency on semiconductors for nation manufacturers,” said Moreira. “I mean, you need to develop semiconductors at the national level.”

Moreira admitted that doing such a thing will reduce the risk that many countries face now, particularly in the West.

“One day, we imagine Taiwan gets attacked or there is a geopolitical issue in the region, and the entire semiconductor industry will be shut down,” said Moreira.

Featured image: TD Ameritrade Network

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James Dargan

James Dargan is a writer and researcher at The Quantum Insider. His focus is on the QC startup ecosystem and he writes articles on the space that have a tone accessible to the average reader.

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