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ID Quantique celebrates its 19th birthday with its eyes turned to an exciting next decade

Nineteen years of innovation later, we are proud to take a look back and to confidently look at a bright future into what is, we must say, a heck of a ride. Our teenage years are almost over, we have never been more ready to embrace the future.

IDQ was founded on October 29th, 2001 by four scientists from the University of Geneva who anticipated the important forthcoming impact of quantum physics on information technology. The company initially operated as a spin-off of the Group of Applied Physics of the University of Geneva, working on research projects to demonstrate the feasibility of Quantum Key Distribution (or QKD, better known as quantum cryptography).

ID Quantique is now a global company, with more than 100 employees, headquartered in Switzerland with sales offices, engineering and research labs located in Korea and the US.

Continuous passion, a strong focus on innovation and the flexibility and experience of a dedicated team have allowed IDQ to establish itself as the world leader in Quantum Randomness, Quantum-Safe Security and Quantum Sensing. Its products are used by governments, enterprises, and academic customers in more than 60 countries and on every continent.

Leading performance beyond conventional techniques

Over the years, ID Quantique has been empowering quantum physics and quantum photonics researchers to take their research in quantum technologies to the next level. From individual components to fully integrated solutions, our quantum technology provides the key building blocks to enable time-resolved single-photon detection based sensing for both industrial and research applications in various domains such as quantum physics, communication, bio and material sciences, defense and security, oil & gas, etc.

This month has been marked by a particular achievement: ID Quantique’s quantum sensing technology contributed to the successful final test launch of the rocket motor of Ariane 6, the next generation of launcher which integrates several technological breakthrough and world first! One being the all fiber-optic based opto-pyrotechnic control and command system developed by IDQ, enhancing the reliability, robustness and performance of the launching system. This is a remarkable example of how quantum sensing enables substantial improvements on measurement performance.

Paving the way to a quantum-secured world

Throughout the years, we have seen Quantum Random Number Generation (QRNG) and Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) gain importance. Thanks to nineteen years of evangelization and huge advancements in the global quantum technology landscape, such technologies have proven to be the way to go to build a more secure, safer future.

Since 2001, IDQ has released several world premieres:

  • The first-ever deployment of QKD in a live network environment
  • The first deployment of QKD over a multiplexed network for commercial clients
  • The longest-running quantum crypto installation (since 2007)
  • The first mass-market application of quantum technology with the integration of its QRNG chip into the Samsung’s ‘Galaxy A Quantum’

This last achievement, quickly followed by a similar integration into Vinsmart Aris 5G smartphones, is of particular interest. Low-cost, miniaturized QRNG has entered the mobile phone market and is now virtually integrable into any device, making quantum-enhanced security available to all.

Another major step takes place in Korea where IDQ and SK Broadband will help building one of the largest quantum communication infrastructures in the world. This nation-wide project – the ‘Digital New Deal – will use QKD to connect multiple sites and ensure ultra-secure communications in public, medical and industrial sectors.

Similar projects – public and private – are blooming all over the world: both Europe and the US are currently building quantum communication networks to be the building block of a future quantum internet. It is now a certainty: quantum technologies are and will be omnipresent in our daily lives through a global computing and communications ecosystem that is the next paradigm shift mankind will benefit from: the Quantum revolution.

“We are very excited by the evolution of the market. We believe 2021 will be a breakthrough year for the operational use of our quantum technologies. It’s an exhilarating time for everyone at IDQ and a cause for great celebration in our 20th anniversary year.”

Axel Foery, EVP Quantum-Safe Security

“IDQ has been pioneering photon counting-based instrumentation and systems. We have helped research and development teams developing new ideas and concept to solve complex scientific problems thanks to nearly 20 years of single-photon detection applications experience combined with real-world experience. In the next decade, I can see a broader adoption of photon-counting systems in a variety of industrial applications such as life sciences, defense, automotive as well as continued academic research.”

Marc Niklès, EVP Quantum Sensing

“Back in 2001 we had to be innovative and we strongly believed the future would be quantum. Seeing how quantum technologies have imposed themselves in today’s society is an exciting confirmation of our 19-year old vision. It is a privilege to help building a safe and secure future to offer the highest level of trust we all deserve.”

Grégoire Ribordy, CEO and co-founder of ID Quantique


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