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PSNC and IDQ collaborate to provide the world’s first cross-border QKD connection

Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) and ID Quantique (IDQ) collaborate to provide the first Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) services on an operational network in Poland and the world’s first cross border QKD connection

As part of OPENQKD, a collaborative European project that installs and runs testbeds in several European locations to showcase Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) solutions under a variety of different use cases, PSNC together with IDQ have recently completed two major implementations.

1. The first QKD infrastructure on an operational network in Poland
Poznan industries

QKD – aka Quantum cryptography is a technology that uses quantum physics to secure the distribution of symmetric encryption keys in motion. This technology uses a fundamental property of quantum physics: observation causes perturbation. This means that if the encryption keys are intercepted ‘in motion’, the sender is alerted and can decide not to use them.

PSNC together with IDQ have established a QKD infrastructure in Poznań (Poland) to provide and support various QKD use cases based on existing PSNC services, such as High Performance Computing (HPC), e-health and local administrations. The goal is to make QKD fully operational on Poznań and Pioneer networks first and to further extend to intercity links and services at a later stage.

QKD is already used successfully as part of the OPENQKD project in Geneva, where it provides ultra-secure digital asset safekeeping for financial institutions such as central banks, global custodians, cryptocurrency exchanges and asset managers.

2. The world’s first cross border QKD connection
The first international inter-city QKD link connects Cieszyn in Poland to Ostrava in Czech Republic. The implementation is the result of a cooperation between Poznań’s Supercomputing and Networking Center, CESNET, IT4Innovations and the National Supercomputing Center at VSB – Technical University of Ostrava academic network.

The quantum channel established between two Cerberis 3 QKD systems from IDQ is exchanging keys since July 1st 2021, on a 75-kilometer fiber-optic route. It provides the highest security and confidentiality for a number of HPC and other services between Poznań and Ostrava (VSB).


New era of safe services

Quantum technologies now provide safe services to users. Innovative quantum solutions are currently being tested and introduced in the best research centers in Europe and in the world.

Quantum communications are undoubtedly the future – also in everyday’s life. Quantum Key Distribution technology is already widely used by leading companies in Asia. Sending QKD keys to third party cryptographic systems is an example of the safest known method of communication. Quantum technology can be used today for securing internet connections, from smartphones and computers to datacenters.



Piotr Rydlichowski – project coordinator at PSNC

“Quantum communication is another milestone in the development of IT infrastructure, not only in science. Today we know for sure that secure data transmission between processing centers such as PSNC is a global challenge. Safe exchange of information on health, crisis situations or financial markets is the first application of this scale that we will implement” Cezary Mazurek, director of the Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center


“We feel honored to support Poznan University to build up a Quantum Competence hub and the first cross border installations, which will be the basis for the EU QCI in Eastern Europe” – Axel Foery, EVP Quantum-Safe Security at ID Quantique


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About ID Quantique

Founded in 2001 as a spin-off of the Group of Applied Physics of the University of Geneva, ID Quantique is the world leader in quantum-safe crypto solutions, designed to protect data for the future. The company provides quantum-safe network encryption, secure quantum key generation and Quantum Key Distribution solutions and services to the financial industry, enterprises and government organizations globally. IDQ’s quantum random number generator has been validated according to global standards and independent agencies, and is the reference in highly regulated and mission critical industries – such as security, encryption, critical infrastructure and IoT – where trust is paramount.

Additionally, IDQ is a leading provider of optical instrumentation products, most notably photon counters and related electronics. The company’s innovative photonic solutions are used in both commercial and research applications.

IDQ’s products are used by government, enterprise and academic customers in more than 60 countries and on every continent. IDQ is proud of its independence and neutrality, and believes in establishing long-term and trusted relationships with its customers and partners.

For more information, please visit www.idquantique.com.

or alternatively contact:

Catherine Simondi – VP Marketing & Communication
catherine.simondi@idquantique.com or +41 (0) 22 301 83 71

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