In 2020, Samsung and SK Telecom introduced the Galaxy A Quantum smartphone, equipped with a random number generation (RNG) chip that helps users work safely with any service. This mobile device literally opened a new chapter in the history of quantum technology. The South Korean company recently announced the Galaxy Quantum 2, the second gadget with an embedded quantum chip for RNG. The technology may soon become more widespread, so today, it is important to deal with it.
What is a quantum security chip, for what is it?
A quantum chip is a special microcircuit that allows you to protect various transactions by creating more secure one-time passwords during two-factor authentication and in other processes.
Here’s what it comes in for:
- securely store personal data, including an electronic passport, various licenses, insurances, and even diplomas;
- prevent forgery and falsification of documents;
- securely pass biometric authentication;
- safely make purchases offline and on the Internet;
- create reliable quantum wallets for storing funds.
These are just a few of the possible use cases for quantum chips that are being considered today. Nevertheless, there may be many more in the future. New ones will obviously appear as technology spreads to the world of smartphones and other high-tech equipment.
How a quantum chip increases security
The Quantum Chip is a unique set of microcircuits, the dimensions of which in the Galaxy A Quantum smartphone are 2.5 × 2.5 mm. To generate as random numbers as possible, it used the absolutely unpredictable capabilities of quantum particles. After all, as you know, the fewer logical chains are in the security key, the more difficult it is to crack it using mathematical tools. Traditional chips currently used in smartphones and other systems rely on deterministic number generators, which can be hacked easily with enough processing power in the hardware. Quantum is much safer.
The quantum chip has a built-in CMOS sensor. It is used to detect photons – this is what became the basis for RNG. According to the laws of physics, the behavior of these particles is random, and therefore it can be transformed into a completely unpredictable key that is almost impossible to crack. Hence the safety.
What kind of quantum chip is used in smartphones
Samsung mobile devices are equipped with a QRNG chip developed by ID Quantique (IDQ). The company has created three models of the chip at once to meet various industry requirements. Chips differ in size, performance, power consumption, and certifications.
Quantis QRNG IDQ250C2. The first quantum random number generator was designed specifically for smartphones, peripherals, and online shopping. This chip will protect against possible fraud on the Internet. It is used in Samsung smartphones. Not everyone notices that mobile apps are demanding more and more sensitive data, including financial, medical, business, and personal information. In turn, peripheral and Internet services have continuous access to the organizations with which consumers do business. This is why personal data needs the protection that a compact, low-power chip can provide.
Quantis QRNG IDQ6MC1… The second model of the company, which is ideal for working with applications that need resilience. The chip has received AEC-Q100 certification, which confirms its compatibility with vehicles. It is excellent for integration into automotive security systems, where its compact size and advanced protection mechanism are critical. It turns out that the chip can provide secure communication between server systems and vehicles. Today, these servers are vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can even cause road accidents when using autopilot systems. It’s safer with a quantum chip.
Quantis QRNG IDQ20MC1. The third chip model has the highest entropy bandwidth and can serve multiple security mechanisms at once with true and unpredictable randomness. The microcircuit is great for computers, laptops, servers, and any security devices. This chip includes DRBG post-processing by NIST SP 800-90 A, B, C – recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
All three models are based on the technological concept and the IDQ patent. These quantum random number generators are a very reliable security system. It is also important to understand that chips allow you to check your status in real-time. If a failure is detected during their operation, the random bit stream is immediately disabled, after which the user will be notified of the problem. The chip will then perform an automatic recovery procedure to re-create the required data. This is the safest solution at the moment.
Where can quantum chips be used?
The quantum chip provides the highest achievable security and reliability. It is ideal for use in automotive, computing, and server infrastructures. In addition, the microcircuit is suitable for mobile software and security applications, where compact size and resistance to external influences are critical.
What is the future of quantum chips?
With over 43 billion devices expected to be online all the time across all possible wireless networks in 2026, the importance of cybersecurity is growing exponentially. The QRNG chip can protect the personal information of users in the virtual world. ID Quantique was the first company to develop a quantum random number generator back in 2001. And at the moment, it remains the market leader in terms of reliability and certification.
In 2020, the first smartphone with quantum technology came out – Galaxy A Quantum, which Samsung and SK Telecom presented. A year later, the company announced the release of the second mobile device with a Quantis QRNG chip – Galaxy Quantum 2. However, it is not the only gadget manufacturer that has implemented a new security system in its devices. So, VinSmart, a Vietnam Vingroup, 2020 announced the release of the Vsmart Aris 5G gadget with an embedded Quantis QRNG chip.
The reality is getting closer to quantum computing, and therefore any other organization needs to stay ahead of the growth of computing power to protect confidential information. Modern chips for generating random numbers are the main weapon from the computing power of quanta, which will allow the use of RNG algorithms without significant changes to the system infrastructure. This means that users can reliably protect their data, and manufacturers do not have to change the entire system of certain hardware or software.
Quite possibly, in the future, Quantis QRNG quantum chips will become part of the central chipsets of Qualcomm, one of the most in-demand mobile processor companies at the moment. For this scenario to become a reality, ID Quantique needs to prove the effectiveness of its chips. And if the testing is successful, consumers will have an ultra-reliable security system. If a quantum chip cannot provide the required efficiency in practice, then its products will stop. Only time will determine its future.