Independent quality assessment of a commercial quantum random number generator
Russian Quantum Center, 121205, Skolkovo, Moscow, Russia
2 NTI Center for Quantum Communications, National University of Science and Technology MISiS, 119049, Moscow, Russia
3 Moscow State University, 119991, Moscow, Russia
4 Institute for Theoretical Physics, ETH Zurich, CH-8093, Zurich, Switzerland
5 Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, 98052, Redmond, WA, USA
6 Shanghai Branch, National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and CAS Center for Excellence in Quantum Information, University of Science and Technology of China, 201315, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
7 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, N2L 3G1, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Accepted: 15 June 2022
Published online: 27 June 2022
We reverse-engineer, test and analyse hardware and firmware of the commercial quantum-optical random number generator Quantis from ID Quantique. We show that of its output data originates in physically random processes: random timing of photon absorption in a semiconductor material, and random growth of avalanche owing to impact ionisation. Under a strong assumption that these processes correspond to a measurement of an initially pure state of the components, our analysis implies the unpredictability of the generated randomness. We have also found minor non-random contributions from imperfections in detector electronics and an internal processing algorithm, specific to this particular device. Our work shows that the design quality of a commercial quantum-optical randomness source can be verified without cooperation of the manufacturer and without access to the engineering documentation.
© The Author(s) 2022
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.