Date: 01 March 2021
Place: online

UNIQORN will participate and showcase its results to the workshop “TOWARDS A EUROPEAN STRATEGY ON QUANTUM PHOTONICS INTEGRATED CIRCUITS” organised by the Focus Group formed by Photonics21 and the Quantum Flagship on Photonic Integration and Quantum Photonic Integrated Circuits (QPICs) .

The purpose of this workshop is twofold. First, to present and discuss the preliminary version of the position paper, which explains the required efforts in European level to gain technological leadership and stimulate job creation ,and further develop the general goals, and second, to bring together and showcase research projects from different funding initiativesworking on QPICs.

More information on the registration and the workshop agenda.

Posted by admin in News

VPIphotonics releases a new version of its simulation environment for classical and quantum communications

VPIphotonics announces a new release of its simulation and design tools VPIphotonics Design Suite™ 11.1 and VPItoolkit™ QKD 1.7. When used together, they represent a powerful R&D environment for the development of QKD systems based on weak-coherent prepare-and-measure protocols, including co-existence scenarios with classical channels. VPItoolkit™ QKD provides modules for both CV- and DV-QKD including transmitters and receivers, parameter estimation, and secret key rate calculation. The design environment can serve as a test bed for the development and evaluation of various implementation options of QKD systems and sub-systems, such as pulse shaping, signal recovery and filtering, and others. The toolkit offers capabilities for modeling a wide range of component imperfections by inheriting the versatile numerical approach of VPItransmissionMaker™ Optical Systems (part of VPIphotonics Design Suite™), including thermal noise, ADC quantization noise, RIN, phase noise, dark count rates, afterpulsing, dead time, etc. Also, exploiting the powerful model libraries coming with  VPItransmissionMaker™ Optical Systems, the toolkit allows to investigate various deteriorate effects such as Raman scattering and cross-talk from classical channels in co-existence scenarios. The in-build sweep and scripting functionality offers a convenient way to optimize simulation parameters such as modulation amplitude, photons per pulse, filter bandwidth, BB84 basis probability, symbol rate, and others. In summary, VPIphotonics Design Suite™ and VPItoolkit™ QKD are valuable design and optimization tools for researchers and engineers working in the area of quantum communications. The foundations for VPItoolkit™ QKD 1.7 have been laid in the Quantum Flagship project UNIQORN.


Posted by Agi Karyda in News, project deliverables

UNIQORN at European Quantum Week 2020

Image source: Quantum Flagship

Our project will have a strong presence at the European Quantum Week in Berlin, where the UNIQORN results and use cases will be presented.

Place: Online
Date: Wednesday, 4 November 2020 at 12:55 – 14:00
Session: Introducing the Communication Pillar

Our project coordinator Hannes Hübel will present the UNIQORN highlights and results achieved so far at the European Quantum Week 2020. The event is organised by the Quantum Flagship with the purpose to share with the quantum community, the general public and other relevant stakeholders the latest developments in the field of Quantum. Participants will have the chance to interact with quantum experts from different sectors and learn about the future of Quantum in Europe.

Place: Online
Date: Thursday, 5 November 2020 at 12:00 – 13:00
Session: Quantum Technologies Use Cases

During the Quantum Technologies Use Cases the following UNIQORN use cases will be presented:

  • Use case 1: Quantum secure 5G networks
  • Use case 2: DPS-QKD for Secure FTTH Deployments
  • Use case 3: Dynamic quantum networks with intelligent entanglement distribution
  • Use case 4: Feasible one-time programs in an urban network

Use cases 1 and 2 are QKD related uses-cases, use-case 3 deals with optimization for quantum enhanced networks and use-case 4 is a novel quantum communication protocol based on one-time program quantum algorithm.

Link to European Quantum Week 2020

Posted by admin in News

We will be at Quantum.Tech in London!

Our project coordinator Hannes Hübel will be speaking at the 2nd edition of Quantum.Tech, which is being held at Twickenham Stadium, London, 20-22 April 2020.

Quantum.Tech is the world’s first, and largest event bringing together industry, research institutions, government agencies, and investors whose primary goal is to drive forward the commercialisation of Quantum technologies.

UNIQORN is very much looking forward to being a part of this event where 80 other world-class speakers from the entire Quantum ecosystem will participate.

If you’d like to view the full programme or learn more about this event go to: , or to stay up to date on Twitter @QuantumTech_ #QT2020

We hope you will join us at Quantum.Tech this April!

Posted by admin in News

See you at OFC 2020

Part of our work will be presented by our partner AIT Austrian Institute of Technology at OFC 2020 on 8 – 12 March at San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA.

  • Monday 9 March 2020 at 11:45 – Room 9

F. Laudenbach, B. Schrenk, M. Achleitner, N. Vokic, D. Milovancev, and H. Hübel, “Flexible Entanglement Distribution Overlay for Cloud/Edge DC Interconnect as Seed for IT-Secure Primitives,” in Proc. OFC’20, San Diego, United States, Mar. 2020, M2K.5

  • Monday 9 March 2020 at 17:30 – Room 1A

N. Vokic, D. Milovancev, W. Boxleitner, H. Hübel, and B. Schrenk, “Compact Differential Phase-Shift Quantum Receiver Assisted by a SOI / BiCMOS Micro-Ring Resonator,” in Proc. OFC’20, San Diego, United States, Mar. 2020, M4A.4

  • Wednesday 11 March 2020 – Poster Session Exhibition Hall B

N. Vokic, D. Milovancev, B. Schrenk, M. Hentschel, and H. Hübel, “Deployment Opportunities for DPS-QKD in the Co-Existence Regime of Lit GPON / NG-PON2 Access Networks,” in Proc. OFC’20, San Diego, United States, Mar. 2020, W2A.56

See you there!

Posted by admin in News


Our partner COSMOTE presented the UNIQORN project in the INFOCOM World Conference took place in Athens, Greece on the 26th of November 2019.

This year’s InfoCom World, was focused on suggestions, implementations and plans, for the development of the Smart Home industry, as well as challenges, opportunities and prospects.

During the “Prospects and Challenges for Developing Innovative Applications and 5G Services” workshop the UNIQORN representatives had the chance to discuss and exchange ideas with many other interesting projects in the field.

You can download the UNIQORN presentation.

Posted by admin in News

EU countries plan ultra-secure communication network

“At the Digital Assembly 2019 in Bucharest, Romania, representatives of 7 EU countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, and Spain) signed a declaration agreeing to explore together, over the next 12 months, how to develop and deploy a quantum communication infrastructure (QCI) across the EU within the next ten years. This infrastructure would enable information and data to be transmitted and stored ultra-securely, and link communication assets all over the EU. It would integrate quantum technologies and systems into conventional communication infrastructures, and consist of two elements: an earth-based component making use of existing fibre communication networks linking strategic sites at national and cross-border level, and a space-based component to cover long distances across the EU and other continents.”

Our project heartily supports the declaration and will contribute to the defined goals. The trans-disciplinary approach of UNIQORN brings together leading European players from quantum optics and photonics enabling to move from lab demonstration to field deployment and bridge the quantum divide between large (governmental) and small (residential) end-users.

Source: Digital Single Market

Posted by admin in News

European Quantum Community Meeting 2019

Date: October 17 – 18, 2019

Place: Helsinki, Finland

Join the Finnish Presidency–Quantum Flagship event that will take place in October in Helsinki.  The two day event will be dedicated to the Quantum Technology community, the Quantum Flagship as well as setting the Strategic Research Agenda, which will be presented and discussed among the community attending the event.  The program is currently being finalised and will be published very soon.


Posted by admin in News

Quantum, which colour suits you best?

At OFC 2019 in San Diego we posed the question how a practical integration of quantum channels into passive optical access networks could look like. To do so, we should first pay attention to the FSAN roadmap. 5G is on the brink of being rolled out together with its optical fronthauling over cloud-radio limited reach of ~20 km, while access standards incorporate wavelength stacking towards 4 lanes of 10 Gb/s. The good news is: NG-PON2 with its WDM overlay is spectrally allocated at the C- and L-bands. This blanks out the O-band, and if we expect fiber deployment to dismiss legacy solutions, there is really much unoccupied space down there at 1310 nm.

Although quantum communication is not a resource-consuming technology with respect to the always precious optical spectrum, it is very picky when it comes to “contamination”. The high power difference of about 100 dB between classical and quantum channels can quickly become a showstopper when these channels are located too close to each other. Even the 100-nm far wings of stimulated Raman scattering are quickly imposing severe crosstalk to the quantum channel. Spectral displacement is therefore paramount, and the consolidation of down- and upstream channels of the next-generation PON standard in the C/L-band definitely helps.

The second big question concerns the loss budget. In optical telecommunications the signal-to-noise ratio worsens with an increasing loss introduced between transmitter and receiver. In the quantum world, however, we transmit single photons and loss is directly impacting the rate at which we are receiving them. Given the constant dark count rate of single-photon detectors, there is a hard limit at which no useful quantum signal can be received anymore. Unfortunately, PONs as the scene that we have set for our experimental deployment study, are known to be very lossy due to their broadcast-and-select methodology with concentrated 1:N branching loss. At ECOC’14 in sunny Cannes, Orange gave a hint on that loss figure by showing that their average optical budget in access networks is 22 dB. This is a good indicator for brown-field deployments and it is just compatible with GHz-rate quantum signals.

So, what is left is to put all together, and that’s what we show in our OFC paper. We exploit a conceptually simple laser-based quantum transmitter dedicated to the end-user premises. The complexity of the receiver, with its custom quantum detector, is centralised at the head-end where it can be cost-shared. With that, and by exploiting a dual-feeder scheme for the PON as well as the unidirectional nature of quantum channels, we obtain robustness to a high number of more than 50 downstream channels. However, we also notice that classical upstream channels are by far more detrimental for our fragile quantum signal. Emerging WDM standards in the O-band, such as LAN-WDM with smaller channel passbands than CWDM, promise a much better noise rejection feature – and after all, you can also include a custom narrowband filter if you already require an equally complex element such as a quantum receiver. For these reasons, we believe that 1310 nm is an attractive wavelength to dress our quantum channel.

See our technical paper for more information:

B. Schrenk, M. Hentschel, and H. Hübel, O-Band Differential Phase-Shift Quantum Key Distribution in 52-Channel C/L-Band Loaded Passive Optical Network,” in Proc. OFC’19, San Diego, USA, Mar. 2019, Th1J.5.

Posted by admin in News