Abstract

We report the first quantum-key-distribution (QKD) systems capable of delivering sustainable, real-time secure keys continuously at rates exceeding 10 Mb/s. To achieve such rates, we developed high-speed postprocessing modules, achieving maximum data throughputs of 60 MC/s, 55 Mb/s, and 108 Mb/s for standalone operation of sifting, error correction, and privacy amplification modules, respectively. The photonic layer of the QKD systems features high-speed single-photon detectors based on self-differencing InGaAs avalanche photodiodes, phase encoding using an asymmetric Mach–Zehnder interferometer, and active stabilization of the interferometer phase and photon polarization. An efficient variant of the decoy-state BB84 protocol is implemented for the security analysis, with a large dataset size of $10^8$ bits selected to mitigate finite-size effects. Over a 2-dB channel, a record secure key rate of 13.72 Mb/s has been achieved averaged over 4.4 days of operation. We confirm the robustness and long-term stability on a second QKD system continuously running for 1 month without any user invention.

© 2018 IEEE

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