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SK Telecom challenges quantum market with its QRNG chip

Posted July. 24, 2017 09:35,   

Updated July. 24, 2017 09:39

During his inauguration speech made on July 11, Science, ICT, and Future Planning Minister Yoo Young-min pinpointed "quantum information and communications" as the field urgently requiring investment from the government. Along with artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of things (IoT), quantum technology is expected to lead the fourth industrial revolution. "Korea is eval‎uated as a late-comer when it comes to quantum information and communication," Minister Yoo said. "We will focus our investment in developing core technology and professionals."

Still, the "Mid-to-long term Technological Development Project on Quantum Information and Communications" to be set out by the ministry is mired in the budget deliberation process. With an estimated budget totaling 551.6 billion won (454.2 billion won nationally subsidized for eight years and 97.4 billion won sponsored by the private sector), the project is currently under preliminary feasibility review since October last year. In addition, the project was scheduled to be reviewed by the National Assembly, as it already passed the main eval‎uation this May.

Nevertheless, the project was recently marred by the negative comments made by the Korea Institute of Science Technology Eval‎uation and Planning. The eval‎uation body for the project raised their eyebrows when it came to lower expectations on the project's economic feasibility and commercialization. To this end, SK Telecom and the ministry will submit their revised business report by the end of this month. The final eval‎uation will be made in September in the earliest. Ski Telecom announced Sunday that it has developed the smallest chip of Quantum Random Number Generator. The communications company has invested 50 billion dollars for the QRNG development since 2011.

Dong-Jin Shin shine@donga.com