This technical milestone signifies a breakthrough that advances the next generation of networking protocols for quantum communication and opens the door for financial services, critical infrastructure, and telecom companies in the New York metropolitan area to pilot quantum networking technologies.
“This foundational achievement will pave the way for future expansion of an underground, high-capacity fiber optic network connecting NYU with New York City’s other institutions, including financial and banking centers and technology companies, through quantum communication and computing,” said Stacie Grossman Bloom, NYU’s vice provost for research and chief research officer.
During this test, Qunnect, a leader in quantum-secure networking technology, and NYU’s Center for Quantum Information Physics (CQIP) transmitted highly entangled photonic quantum bits, more commonly referred to as “qubits,” at a rate of 15,000 pairs/second over fiber optic cable with 99% uptime. The fragile nature of entanglement requires rigorous monitoring and precision, and previous demonstrations had shown only short durations in which the quantum network was fully operational. The work was conducted on Qunnect’s GothamQ, a quantum network utilizing existing commercial fiber optic cable, with a node that connects to NYU’s Lower Manhattan campus.
“This test represents the next step in building a quantum network that engages clients in critical industries that need to future-proof their security,” said Noel Goddard, CEO of Qunnect. “In demonstrating sustained delivery of high-quality entangled qubits over 10 miles of real fiber, we have validated GothamQ as the country’s first commercial metropolitan network supporting entanglement distribution networking protocols with hardware that is ready to be deployed today.”
“With the purity produced by our entanglement sources and the automation of our controlling and monitoring systems, the roadmap for scaling from two nodes towards a full metropolitan network in cities around the world has become much clearer,” added Mehdi Namazi, chief science officer of Qunnect.
Quantum networks will dramatically enhance the security of data transmission as it relates to capabilities including communications, computing, and cybersecurity. Qunnect’s particular approach to quantum networking also enables easy detection of and protection against network tapping.
NYU has emerged as a trailblazer in quantum science and technology, with research spanning quantum phenomena, quantum information theory, communication, computing, materials, and optics. With the successful test of this dark fiber infrastructure, the university is positioned to be a pioneer in the creation of a quantum hub in Lower Manhattan, with plans to expand a network to different campus sites.
“Our quantum program follows bold and ambitious goals to go beyond incremental progress and focus on groundbreaking longer-term impact,” said NYU Physics Professor Javad Shabani, director of the Center for Quantum Information Physics (CQIP), which is working to advance quantum information science and its applications. “We need to think about scalable quantum technologies that can communicate with each other very much like the internet connecting desktop computers. Our work shows the welcoming opportunity that our quantum setups can become distributed and maintain their ‘quantumness’ from Brooklyn to Manhattan.”
NYU’s CQIP is also partnering with IBM to train NYU undergraduate and graduate students in quantum information physics, complemented by a collaboration with the IBM Q Hub and the Air Force Research Lab to advance quantum research and education.
The Navy Yard is also home to a research and production facility run by NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering (NYU Tandon @ The Yard) that focuses on emerging media technologies. In April, Qunnect announced the expansion of its facilities in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Its R&D facility and network research hub are dedicated to developing cutting-edge networking technology for commercial use.
About New York University
Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the world’s foremost research universities and is a member of the selective Association of American Universities. NYU has degree-granting campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai, and has 12 other global academic sites around the world. Through its numerous schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, engineering, social work, cities, global public health, big data, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.
Qunnect innovates and commercializes the core technologies needed for scalable quantum-safe communication. In 2021, the company commercialized the world’s first quantum memory. The memory serves as the cornerstone to Qunnect’s Quantum Repeater product suite, an integrated solution for long-distance distribution of entanglement across existing telecommunications infrastructure. The company is headquartered in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City. Qunnect recently announced its Series A financing in a round led by Airbus Ventures and is grateful for research support from the US Department of Energy, the US Air Force and Activate Global, sponsored by the DARPA-MTO Innovate Program. For more information, visit its website.