IBM and Cambridge Quantum Computing announce random number generator service


This cloud-based quantum computing service includes verification and is now available to members of the IBM Q Network.

Vibrant glowing qubit

Image: sakkmesterke, Getty Images/iStockphoto

IBM and Cambridge Quantum Computing have built a random number generator that uses quantum computing with verification and plan to offer the new capability as a cloud service. 

IBM and CQC announced the news Thursday at the final day of the IBM Q Summit. CQC developed the application, which generates true maximal randomness, or entropy,

implemented on an IBM Quantum computer. The random number can be verified and certified as truly quantum for the first time, according to the companies. 

Randomness is used in cybersecurity to encrypt data and communications and to perform simulation analysis in many sectors, including the petrochemicals, pharmaceutical, chemical engineering, finance, and gaming industries.

The certified QRNG service integrates a Bell test based on Mermin inequalities, offered through the Qiskit module qiskit rng, which validates the true quantum nature of the underlying processes with statistical analysis. 

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Lawrence Gasman, president of Inside Quantum Technology, an industry research and analysis firm, said in the blog post that certified QRNG is a potentially massive market because there are so many applications of the technology that are possible today, particularly for cybersecurity.

Members of the IBM Q Network get access to the new service first. This group includes more than 100 Fortune 500 companies, universities, startups, and national research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing.   

IBM sees this cloud-based quantum computing service as an important step toward Quantum Advantage. IBM defines quantum advantage as the point where certain information processing tasks can be performed more efficiently or cost effectively on a quantum computer compared to a classical one. 

Ilyas Khan, the CEO of Cambridge Quantum Computing, shared this news in a blog post on the CQC site. CQC was part of the founding group of startups in the IBM Q Network’s startup program. IBM invested in CQC in January 2020. CQC recently became the first startup-based Hub in the IBM Q Network and works with other members on chemistry, optimization, finance, and quantum machine learning and natural language processing.

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