EU Horizon-2020 project UNIQORN targets quantum optical communications

The European Union (EU) Horizon-2020 project UNIQORN – officially, “UNIQORN – Affordable Quantum Communication for Everyone: Revolutionizing the Quantum Ecosystem from Fabrication to Application” – kicked off last month with a goal of developing manufacturable technology that can support quantum communications. The three-year effort received funding by the European Commission within the first call of the H2020 Quantum Flagship funding program.

The European Union (EU) Horizon-2020 project UNIQORN – officially, “UNIQORN – Affordable Quantum Communication for Everyone: Revolutionizing the Quantum Ecosystem from Fabrication to Application” – kicked off last month with a goal of developing manufacturable technology that can support quantum communications. The three-year effort received funding by the European Commission within the first call of the H2020 Quantum Flagship funding program.

Quantum component developments within UNIQORN will include true random number generation and secure-key distribution, as well as specialized optical sources and detector technology that can be produced on mainstream fabrication platforms. The effort will leverage system-on-chip integration to create highly miniaturized quantum-optic systems that will support such quantum mechanical features as entanglement and “light squeezing.”

The UNIQORN consortium includes 17 partners from nine European countries, led by AIT Austrian Institute of Technology as the project coordinator and the Institute of Computer and Communication Systems Athens as the technical manager. R&D centers such as Fraunhofer HHI and imec will work with quantum engineers from the University of Vienna, Paderborn University, University of Innsbruck, and the Technical University of Denmark. The Eindhoven University of Technology, Micro-Photon-Devices, Politecnico Milano, SMART Photonics, VPIphotonics, and Cordon Electronics will provide the group’s photonic and electronic design, integration, and packaging expertise. Rounding out the consortium membership are Mellanox and Cosmote, which will provide the industrial end-user perspective, and the University of Bristol, which will support field evaluation via its live smart-city test-bed.

“There is no doubt that this project will help to bridge the quantum divide,” asserted Hannes Hübel, scientist and quantum expert at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology and UNIQORN project coordinator. “By offering cost-optimized quantum technology that follows a similar success story to microelectronics, not only governments and big organizations but also the general public will benefit from the offerings of the Quantum Age.”

For related articles, visit the Optical Technologies Topic Center.

For more information on optical components and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.


More in Components