UNIQORN relies on the integration of innovative quantum-optical building blocks (sources, transmitters, detectors) that are based on well-established InP/polymer/CMOS technologies, offering the optimum balance between innovation and risk/maturity/time-to-market: quantum revolution through technological evolution.
In order to achieve its expected impact, the scientific and technological objectives drive innovation along the entire value chain and span from fabrication to application.

Objective 1: Develop value-added InP, CMOS and polymer quantum-optic communication component technology with reproducible performance.
UNIQORN will sharpen the tools for practical technology development on a component level – without restricting its broad application-oriented view. Integration platforms will be advanced to guarantee quantum-grade performance. Components for weak coherent pulse and photon-pair systems will be fabricated based on monolithic Indium-Phosphide technology and low-cost industry-qualified polymer lightwave circuits. Generation capabilities will be paired with detection functions, which will benefit from high-efficiency silicon photon detection and low-noise, high bandwidth signal conditioning integrated on cost-effective CMOS technology.

Objective 2: Shoehorning breadboards into chips – Develop a quantum System-on-Chip (QSoC) methodology that enables low-cost assembly and packaging.
UNIQORN expects an up to 90% cost improvement with respect to state-of-the-art commercial products through a well-orchestrated methodology and process flow used for QSoC fabrication, which drives higher production through-put at lower cost through flexible hybrid integration. The power of the technological food chain will be demonstrated through the realisation of complex quantum systems such as entangled photon or squeezed light sources.

Objective 3: Demonstrate the power of the technological food-chain through realization of feature-rich, scalable key sub-systems for optical quantum communications.
The demonstration of feature-rich and scalable quantum circuits in the form of QSoC is a significant step forward in the fabrication of a broad range of DV and CV quantum communication sub-systems with reduced size and cost – following the same paradigm of integrated microelectronics during the late 20th century.

Objective 4: Deployable system performance and novel network functionalities.
The technological findings will be integrated at system- and network-level. A main output will be the realization of a quantum pluggable for low-cost QKD. Network-integration will be conducted in view of co-existence, building on additional multiplexing dimensions and a Quantum Whitebox.

Objective 5: Demonstration of low-cost quantum links and novel end-user quantum applications beyond QKD in lab evaluation and field scenarios.
The tight integration of quantum protocols in commercial network equipment and the network-oriented investigation of applicability aspects provides the credential to generate exploitable assets. UNIQORN selects representative protocols and applications such as quantum-secured Internet-of-Things (QIoT), one-time programs for cloud-based quantum processing, secure database access through oblivious transfer, QRNG as a seed for NIC-integrated randomness engine, and point-to-multipoint QKD connectivity. Field testing will be conducted in deployed networks in Bristol and Athens.