As online data moves faster, becomes more complex and contains highly sensitive information, advanced encryption methods are required to protect against data breaches. Random number generation (RNG) is used in encryption within a multitude of applications, including e-commerce and high frequency trading.
Traditional random number generators, which are implemented in software based algorithms, can be predictable. It is crucial that random numbers used within computational applications are truly random, so that they cannot be predicted by third parties. Quantum mechanics offers a fundamentally new process that is guaranteed to produce truly random numbers every time.
Existing self-certified quantum RNGs are expensive, slow, and may require cryogenic temperatures. For some, their certification depends on the calibration, stability and security of components within them.
The next generation
Oxford academics have created a new method for random number generation that is fast, compact, and can be manufactured at low cost. It is a completely optical system that extracts theoretical information securely using randomness from any light source compatible with its detection technology. It also provides certification against attempts to influence the randomness by tampering with the light source, making it even more secure for encryption and trading applications. The certification scheme requires no moving parts and is suitable for use with low-cost photodiodes and works with any light source.
This technology is subject to a patent application and is available to license from Oxford University Innovation.