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SKT’s Galaxy A71 5G boasts a quantum RNG chip for advanced security

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Last updated: April 22nd, 2020 at 16:01 UTC+02:00

The Galaxy A71 5G destined to launch in South Korea via SK Telecom next month will be the world’s first smartphone to boast a QRNG (Quantum Random Number Generator) chip for advanced security, claims a recent ETNews report. Unlike non-quantum cryptography systems, a QRNG chip is capable of generating truly random and unpredictable numbers.

While the report doesn’t go into great detail about the exact chip employed by SKT’s Galaxy A71 5G, we’re guessing it might be a solution provided by ID Quantique, or a spinoff of IDQ’s existing Quantis QRNG chip. This would make sense, seeing how SKT made a $65 million investment in ID Quantique more than two years ago. Likewise, SK Telecom applied ID Quantique’s QRNG systems to the subscriber authentication center of its 5G network last year.

How does ID Quantique’s QRNG chip work?

Once again, it’s worth highlighting that the recent report doesn’t specify what exact QRNG chip solution SK Telecom is implementing on its Galaxy A71 5G variant. However, assuming that it’s an IDQ solution or a derivative, we can look at IDQ’s existing set of Quantis chips to get a better understanding of the underlying technology.

IDQ has three QRNG chips available as of this writing. They come in different sizes with different power requirements, but fundamentally, they all work the same and provide instantaneous full entropy from the very first bit. Of the three solutions, the Quantis QRNG IDQ250C2 chip fits the bill perfectly. It’s described as the first Quantum Random Number Generator designed and manufactured specifically for mobile handsets, IoT and edge devices.

IDQ’s QRNG chips feature an LED and a CMOS image sensor. The chip relies on the probabilistic nature of quantum physics to create truly random numbers with unpredictable patterns. This is achieved by the CMOS image sensor harnessing the quantum randomness from the shot noise emitted by the LED.

SK Telecom’s QRNG-powered Galaxy A71 5G could be rebranded as the Galaxy Quantum, notes the Korean publicationRegardless of whether or not this is true, the phone will be unique even among other Galaxy A71 5G variants outside of SKT’s network. In other markets including the USA, the ‘standard’ Galaxy A71 5G model will be released this summer.

Phone Galaxy A71 5GSK TelecomSouth Korea
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