Cerberis QKD Blade


  • Provably secure key exchange based on Quantum Key Distribution: robust against attacks from quantum computers
  • Future-proof security: quantum keys ensure long-term protection and forward secrecy
  • Fully automated key exchange with continuous key renewal
  • Integrated entropy source based on a Quantum Random Number Generator
  • KMIP compatible for maximum versatility
  • Tamper resistant design


The Cerberis QKD blade offers quantum-safe key distribution for point-to-point data center interconnections and metropolitan backbone optical networks. It is also a building block for extended quantum backbones (in conjunction with Trusted Node technology).


Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a technology that exploits a fundamental principle of quantum physics – observation causes perturbation – to exchange cryptographic keys over optical fiber networks with provable security.

QKD – also known as quantum cryptography – is the only known cryptographic technique, which can ensure quantum-safe security, i.e. a guarantee that encrypted messages will remain confidential against the power of a quantum computer.

Although the design and realization of a multi-purpose quantum computer, which will be able to break existing public-key cryptography, remains a challenge, recent progress in this field means that governments, standards bodies and industries are starting to mandate quantum-safe encryption methods. The era of post-quantum cryptography, where cryptographic methods will have to be resilient to quantum computer, has already begun.

The world’s first carrier-grade QKD platform

ID Quantique (IDQ) is the first and only company to have developed a commercial QKD platform, the Cerberis range. The original Cerberis QKD Server has been used in real-world applications to provide long-term protection of data since 2007.

The latest addition to the family, the Cerberis QKD Blade, is the third generation of QKD systems introduced by IDQ and is designed specifically for the telecommunications and optical networking world. The QKD Blade integrates seamlessly into a telecom equipment chassis, providing quantum-safe encryption keys for other appliances in the rack.

The solution is currently available as a blade in the Advanced Telecommunications Computer Architecture (ATCA) form factor and can be slotted into any ATCA-compatible shelf. Different form factors, adapted to other standard telecom chassis (e.g. ETSI standard), are under development.

Secure key exchange is possible over more than 100km, even over standard telecom networks. The platform is well documented in scientific publications and has been extensively tested and characterized.



  • High speed key generation, with 1.25 GHz pulse repetition rate at the emitter
  • Fully automated, hardware-based key processing (in an FPGA) to allow high key distribution rate
  • ATCA hardware form factor (may be adapted to different form factors)

Key Exchange Characteristics

  • Secret bidirectional 256 bit AES key rate for 50 km-long link (typ.): 20’000 keys per hour
  • Secret bidirectional 256 bit AES key rate for 100 km-long link (typ.): 2’000 keys per hour
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