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Quantum cryptography or, more precisely, quantum key distribution (QKD) is a communication technique relying on the exchange of single quantum states, such as single photons. The laws of quantum physics guarantee an information-theoretically secure (ITS) way to generate a secret key between two parties and hence offer an absolutely secret line of communication.

AIT is one of the pioneers of quantum key distribution, organizing the first QKD network demonstration in Vienna in 2008. The focus of activities lies on system integration, bringing together the optical hardware, control electronics and software to develop stand-alone units for point-to-point quantum communication. AIT currently offers three types of systems:

To facilitate the adaptation of QKD into existing telecommunication infrastructure, certification and standardization of the technology is vital. AIT is a full member of the QKD ISG group at ETSI, whose task it is to define standards for QKD systems and QKD network implementations.