UK quantum photonics start-up AegiQ has secured a total of £1.4m in funding from Innovate UK to develop secure quantum communications for fibre-optic and satellite based applications.
AegiQ will join a global pilot project to provide semiconductor tech for nex-gen telecoms.
The firm has been awarded the funding as part of a consortium of companies, and will build communication infrastructure which it says is resistant to hacking by new quantum methods.
Led by CEO and co-founder Dr. Max Sich (pictured), the firm is a spin-out of the University of Sheffield and part of the government’s £70m backing of quantum technology.
Quantum cryptography technology addresses advances in quantum computing which make traditional messaging encryption methods vulnerable to attacks.
AegiQ is developing semiconductor-based quantum photonics by manufacturing chips using elements such as Gallium, Indium and Arsenic rather than traditional Silicon, leveraging existing industrial processing techniques.
The company is part of this year’s Creative Destruction Lab’s Quantum Stream cohort.
“Existing software-based encryption of telecom networks is vulnerable to quantum attack,” commented Scott Dufferwiel, AegiQ’s CTO.
“The risks are losing control of our communications and being faced with massively compromised security from quantum hackers. With the rise of quantum computing, standard encryption methods are no longer fit for purpose. A wide range of industries will require these quantum solutions in the near term.”
Dr. Max Sich added: “Thousands of AegiQ systems will be required in each data centre around the world, as they transition to using quantum technologies for communication and cloud computing. Deploying our scalable technology with mass production capabilities into initiatives like this project will position the UK as a world-leader in manufacturing quantum communications.”
The start-up is currently raising its seed round of investment, as it uses its Innovate UK funding to also enable further R&D and production of its technology.