EQRNG QSG Workgroup

Entanglement Quantum Random Numbers Generation Workgroup under the EITCI QSG

The main objective of the EQRNG-QSG activity is contribution to initiation of an international Working Group (WG) for Entanglement based Quantum Random Numbers Generation (EQRNG) technical specification and further standardization process. This aim is pursed by publication of Request for Comments of the first drafts of technical standards for advanced EQRNG systems below:

EQRNG-QSG aims to bring together professionals in classical and quantum domains of information processing and communication who are interested in randomness generation and can contribute towards development of requirements and specifications of the EQRNG systems that upon utilization of the non-local quantum entanglement may generate secret and provably non-deterministic randomness. The new technical developments and solutions in true randomness generation and testing would facilitate drafting of EQRNG technical reference standards and requesting comments from Standards Developing Organizations' (SDOs) relevant WGs and international experts. The standardization consensus in QRNG is expected to contribute to a growing quantum standards inventory and help in uptake of the technology, which is crucial in cryptography, communication and computation.

Relevance of this activity from the European perspective is in support of quantum technologies roadmapping within the EU Quantum Technology Flagship, further supporting a leading role of the EU in the international quantum race by undertaking new initiatives in the international standardization efforts. Many quantum technologies are in early TRL levels, and the most mature ones (reaching even TRL 7) are QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) and QRNG. While QKD standards are underway (e.g. at ETSI QKD-ISG) there are no technical reference drafs and no work groups actively pursuing QRNG standards (except of the recent standard adoption by the ITU-T referencing the IdQuantique's QRNG architecture following a preceding recommendation letter). In Europe ETSI established Industry Specification Group working on QKD and on international level quantum standardization efforts take place in cybersecurity and networks WGs, e.g. under Joint Technical Committee 1 of ISO/IEC. CEN and CENELEC recently signed agreements with ISO and IEC through which common European and international standards are developed parallely without duplication, emphasizing the European role.

The main challange and aim of the EQRNG-QSG is in supporting quantum technologies roadmapping in the EU Quantum Technology Flagship Program in area of Quantum Random Numbers Generators (QRNG). Both QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) and QRNG are the most mature and industry-ready quantum technologies. While QKD standards are in development there are no reference drafts and no work groups actively pursuing QRNG standards.

EITCI Institute's Quantum Standards Group joins together professionals of both classical and quantum domains of information and communication as well as cybersecurity. Many of the experts internationally collaborate on bringing QTs (such as QKD, QRNG) to practical cybersecurity applications.

In 2013 EITCI Institute's QSG representatives took part in the meeting of the work group of QKD-ISG (Quantum Key Distribution Industry Specification Group) of ETSI, but EITCI was active in QIP/QKD standardization efforts already since 2008, organizing in 2010 two WGs for QKD and QIP work groups as a result of EITCI involvement in quantum communication R&D projects' results testing and verification. The QRNG work group now follows with previously well realized fact of the critical importance of true randomness for the security of QKD protocols. Upon recent activity in new developments in QRNG field, including an entanglement based architecture of public-verification of true randomness without unveiling of its secrecy due to quantum non-locality of the entangled qubit states, the EITCI QSG is well positioned to join experts who can collaborate on specifying EQRNG protocols.

The TRLs of Quantum Technologies vary in different fields. QRNG is one of the areas with highest TRL calling for industry specification and efforts towards standards consensus. Such efforts should accompany already well developed field of quantum-safe communication standards, as truly non-deterministic randomness has critical role in both quantum and classical cryptosystems including a whole domain of classical, so called post-quantum cryptography. In that regard it should be quoted after the Europe's Agenda 2020 that standardization is an important instrument for innovation adoption, driving compatibility, interoperability, quality and security requirements (COM/2010/2020). The EU R&D framework programme H2020 definition also emphasizes a relationship between R&D projects and standardization activities that boost impact of the results and their market uptake (COM(2018) 26). Current SDOs activity in QRNG standards is very limited and the EITCI EQRNG-QSG activities aim to stimulate these efforts.

The current activity of the EQRNG-QSG involves the Request for Comments model of work. The initial EQRNG technical specifications and reference standards drafting have been a basis for the RFC (Request for Comments) drafts.

The RFC specification of initial standards drafts include:

  1. EQRNG definition, theoretical concepts of true randomness and use cases
  2. EQRNG testing and verification schemes (including quantum entanglement sustaining secrecy)
  3. EQRNG processes, devices and operative parameters

Further on the RFC drafts are circulated with the EQRNG-QSG and after internal iterations are also distributed to the relevant Working Groups of SDOs, including ETSI QKD-ISG, ITU-T SG13 & SG17, IEEE/ISTO, IETF, IEC TC 57, TC 292, TC 65/WG10, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 27, CEN, CENELEC, ANSI/ASC and NIST, with an invitation to submit the comments on the drafts and join the EQRNG-SQG activities, including further reiteration of the RFCs upon community collaboration ending with specifications publishing and initiation of a formalized WG under EITCI Institute as the hosting SDO.

The EITCI EQRNG-SQG activities are aimed at stimulation of international SDOs' own WGs with further iterations towards increasing collaboration and reaching of the consensus for adopted international standards in the QRNG domain. The QRNG standardization drafting process will be open and RFC drafts and final standards specification documents will be of open access (while some of the technically documented concepts may remain under IP protection, while different competing solutions will be a part of consensus reaching process in the research and industry community towards QRNG technology standardization).

Return to the EITCI Quantum Standards Group.