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Proceedings Paper

Quantum random number generators and their applications in cryptography
Author(s): Mario Stipcevic
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Paper Abstract

Random number generators (RNG) are an important resource in many areas: cryptography (both quantum and classical), probabilistic computation (Monte Carlo methods), numerical simulations, industrial testing and labeling, hazard games, scientific research etc. Because today's computers are deterministic, they can not create random numbers unless complemented with a physical RNG. Randomness of a RNG can be defined and scientifically characterized and measured. Especially valuable is the information-theoretic provable RNG which, at state of the art, seem to be possible only by harvest of randomness inherent to certain (simple) quantum systems and such a generator we call Quantum RNG (QRNG). On the other hand, current industry standards dictate use of RNGs based on free running oscillators (FRO) whose randomness is derived from electronics noise present in logic circuits and which, although quantum in nature, cannot be strictly proven. This approach is currently used in FPGA and ASIC chips. We compare weak and strong aspects of the two approaches for use in cryptography and in general. We also give an alternative definition of randomness, discuss usage of single photon detectors in realization of QRNGs and give several examples where QRNG can significantly improve security of a cryptographic system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8375, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques VI, 837504 (19 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919920
Show Author Affiliations
Mario Stipcevic, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (United States)
Rudjer Boskovic Institute (Croatia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8375:
Advanced Photon Counting Techniques VI
Mark A. Itzler, Editor(s)

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