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Affordable Quantum Communication for Everyone: Revolutionizing the Quantum Ecosystem from Fabrication to Application

Project description

Cost-optimised quantum technologies

To ensure the success of the second quantum revolution (which offers exciting new applications like faster computers), all devices will be required to have the same level of integration that microelectronic systems have achieved. In this context, the EU-funded UNIQORN project will develop new applications and new protocols for real-life applications. It will develop cost-optimised quantum technology – the first step to quantum devices for the mass market. These devices will be based on small, cheap, robust and reliable systems. Specifically, the project will extend the existing photonic integration technology to accommodate quantum applications. The outcome of the project will provide the building blocks for quantum devices that can be used in home appliances and even smartphones one day.


Quantum communication is recognised as one of the pillars for the second quantum revolution thanks to its unique potential for information-theoretical data security. Turning this promise into tangible assets depends however, on the availability of high-performance, compact and cost-effective modules for practical implementations. UNIQORN is a well-orchestrated design and manufacturing framework aiming to advance the quantum communication technology for DV and CV systems by carefully laying out each element along the development chain from fabrication to application. Component-wise, UNIQORN will leverage the monolithic integration potential of InP platform, the flexibility of polymer platform and low-cost assembly techniques to develop quantum system-on-chip modules in a cheap, scalable and reproducible way. UNIQORN will deliver bright (10M pairs/s/mW/THz) heralded, entangled and squeezed light sources with 70-fold size reduction and almost 90% cost savings, room-temperature arrayed SPADs and a 10-GHz CV receiver with low-noise TIAs. Fully functional systems based on these assets will include: (i) a network adapter card with integrated real-time QRNG engine, (ii) the first DPS transmitter as pluggable SFP module for low-cost 1-kb/s QKD, and (iii) novel oblivious transfer and quantum FPGA systems. Network-integration and system evaluation in real fibre networks will be enabled by quantum-aware software defined networking and field trials in the live Smart-City demonstrator Bristol-is-Open. The power of the developed ecosystem will be also validated by pushing current QKD-centric work into higher grounds, and demonstrating one-time programs and secure database access through oblivious transfer. The trans-disciplinary approach of UNIQORN brings together leading European players from quantum optics and photonics enabling to move from lab science to field deployment and bridge the quantum divide between large (governmental) and small (residential) end-users.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 750 502,50
1210 Wien

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Ostösterreich Wien Wien
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 750 502,50

Participants (16)