Quantum Random Number Generation on a Chip

Axion Technologies LLC developed a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) for use in massively parallel computers, e.g. High Performance Computers (HPCs). This device will revolutionize HPCs by reducing the need for labor associated with existing solutions, enabling HPC users to take advantage of the full computing power. Now, the company is developing a QRNG microchip for use in: Encryption, HPC Simulations, One-time Pad, SALT in Cryptographic Hash, Lottery Gaming, Cloud Cryptography, Fiber Communications, AI Deep Learning, etc.

Critical Need for this Technology

Encryption technologies are annually a $150+ Billion USD industry with many diverse segments,  some (e.g. quantum encryption and cloud security) growing at over 20% CAGR.  With such need for and interest in cyber security, it is surprising that current tools have never provided more than pseudo-random algorithms.  Even the RSA key fob, which was a ubiquitous cyber security tool that the federal government, financial institutions and many industries relied on for authentication, uses algorithms that are never truly random.  Hackers realized they could calculate the values displayed by fobs.  A couple of years ago, the fobs were decommissioned by agencies and corporation that value data protection.  The only way to ensure security, especially in the era of quantum computing, is True (Quantum) Random Number Generation.

Axion Technologies LLC has patented a high-speed, parallel Truly-Random Number Generator (TRNG or QRNG) based on fundamental Quantum Mechanical principles, achieving speeds of 1-2GHz per stream and providing up to 250 streams per device – competitors currently provide 1-4 streams, mostly in the MHz range.  The technology can meet the needs for randomness in encryption, communication, computing simulations and most modern computing applications.

Supplemental Need for this Technology

Axion’s technology has focused on parallel networks. This will enable novel encryption protocols and meet the needs of modern computing infrastructures.  The company is working on developing a microchip version. Our device will enable parallel deliver of randomness to accommodate the ever increasing parallel computing systems in PCs, autonomous vehicles, drone technologies, etc.

Competition

  • Pseudo RNG:  10-15 large firms including Intel, RSA Security, SanDisk, SGI, HP Labs
  • Ineffective TRNG:  No competitor offers True-RNG devices for HPCs due to speed

Potential Markets

Axion’s initial target market is to develop a product tailored to High Performance Computers (HPCs). Random number generation in HPCs has been entirely limited to pseudo-random algorithms which result in numbers that repeat over time, cyclic behavior.  This cyclic behavior is known to create problems, particularly in HPCs simulations. These simulations require tremendous speeds and parallelism have not been serviceable by TRNG devices that are typically too slow for practical use.

Axion Technologies has a unique advantage over competing technology by design. Its unique system will enable HPC centers to meet their client’s need for randomness without requiring considerable IT resources to avoid the problems posed by cyclic behavior in pseudo-RNG algorithms. Currently, the only available solution for performing massively parallel computations, in HPC simulations and even in AI, require IT professionals who can implement specialized techniques to prevent recycling random numbers that leads to spurious results. This problem is solved by Axion Technologies’ product solution.

The US federal budget includes several billion dollars allotted over the next few years to provide entirely new HPCs. The timing is such that Axion has an opportunity to get involved with a set of engineering studies to determine the capabilities of the next system purchased by Argonne National Laboratories.  This requires us to do the next layer of testing at the facility to benchmark the device performance and negotiate a price for possible connection of units in the next generation HPC.

Beyond the initial market, Axion’s technology can readily be incorporated in: 1.) Communication systems using fiber optical cables and 2.) Autonomous Vehicle CPUs.  The company is exploring both the need and a framework for the final product prototype in both of these.

Key Innovation

High speed, parallel quantum random number generation, soon to be on a microchip.

R & D Status of Project

Axion Technologies LLC has patented a high-speed, parallel truly-random number generator (TRNG or QRNG) based on fundamental quantum mechanical principles, achieving speeds of 1-2GHz per stream and providing up to 250 streams per device – competitors currently provide 1-4 streams, mostly in the MHz range.  The technology has been prototyped and tested under a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I grant.  The prototype will be further tested in the Argonne National Laboratory’s (ANL) testbed for integration onto High Performance Computing (HPC) networks – engineering studies.

Team Overview

Dr. Carol Y. Scarlett (PI) founded Axion Technologies, in January of 2016, to produce cryptographic hardware based on experimentation she was performing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Yale University and a doctorate in Physics from the University of Michigan.  During her seven years at Florida A&M University (FAMU) Dr. Scarlett, an Associate Professor in Physics, has supervised work in a university research laboratory. She has over thirty peer-reviewed publications and holds four patents.  Her skills include: expertise in mirror cavity development, signal analysis, simulating optical effects, as well as circuit design and fabrication.  She will develop the electronic system needed to detect the noise source (entropy), convert to a bit stream and read to a PC or Computer system.

The company has three Research Assistants focus on various aspects of product development.  Mr. Kendall Sands performs microscopy measurements to vet the materials critical to product development.  Ms. Mal’lica Gordon has expertise in electrical wiring and circuit fabrication.  To optimize design of the device, Mr. Stephen Thompson works on device simulations.

Technology Profile

Status: Prototypes large scale device
Primary industry: Computing
Category: Cybersecurity, encryption, HPC Simulations, One-time Pad, SALT Hashing

Estimated annual revenue: $500,000
Employs: 5
R&D commercial collaborator: HPE