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Live QKD demonstrations at OFC Conference

The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) 2024 is one of the largest technical conference and exhibition experiences in the telecom world. The 2024 edition took place in SanDiego last week and it was a special one for ID Quantique.

The most important aspect was to demonstrate the integration of QKD with equipment manufacturers. The specificity of OFC, starting from last year, is that it offers a dedicated optical fiber network, OFCNet, which is used for demonstrations highlighting new technologies. We took advantage of this to build two QKD-secured links between our booth and the booths of both Ciena and Nokia. There was a lot of interest from visitors. The fact that a QKD network can be installed easily in this complex environment is a demonstration of how far we have gone towards integration of QKD in the telecom world.



On the technical side, we contributed to 6 panels and presentations over the whole conference. The most relevant progress we saw, was the demonstration of outstanding hollow core fiber performance. These fibers, where light actually propagates mostly in air, with some glass surrounding it to guide it, may revolutionize the telecoms. They already achieve lower loss than the best glass fiber, with no non-linear interactions between different wavelengths. This will mean for quantum communications a single fiber, propagating both the quantum and all the classical signals without a compromise on longer distances; which will be a significant improvement for long distance QKD.

A couple of recordings are already available on the OFC webiste. We are happy to point out to 2 where IDQ contributed:

Workshop: How Can OFC, with a Real Life Test-Bed, Accelerate Innovation in the Optical Photonic Networks?

Workshop: QKD – An End-Game or Just a Stepping Stone to the Quantum Internet?

Here are details of the 2 QKD demonstrations with Ciena and Nokia:

Achieving a Higher Level of Security Combining Ciena’s 400Gbps MACsec Quantum-secured Channel with 800Gbps OTNsec Encryption.

This demonstration, in partnership with Ciena, shows how 400Gbps MACsec quantum-secured channels can enable network operators to detect and defend against eavesdroppers across metro applications. The demo features Ciena’s 8140 Coherent Aggregation Router leveraging open APIs to communicate with ID Quantique’s Quantum KeyDistribution (QKD) Cerberis XGR platform.

The 400Gbps channel is MACsec encrypted using symmetric keys generated by the QKD technology, enabling a solution that is mathematically proven to provide unconditional security of in-flight data and that is highly resilient against eavesdropping attempts. Additionally, the 400Gbps MACsec quantum-secured channel is multiplexed onto an 800G OTNsec encrypted optical channel using Ciena’s Waveserver 5 platform.



Building Resilient and Scalable Quantum-Safe Networking with Nokia’s 1830 PSI-M optical transport system

This demonstration in partnership with Nokia shows how to construct a highly resilient and scalable Quantum-safe Network using commercially available components that can be deployed today for scaling across large networks and extending to higher network layers.

We utilize common optical encrypting transponders in the Nokia 1830 PSI-M optical transport system with centralized, symmetric key distribution orchestrated by the Nokia 1830 SMS security management server. The quantum keys are generated by IDQ’s Cerberis XGR QKD system and are overlaid with the classic key distribution system. More info here:





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