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Quantum Internet Closer to Reality, Thanks to This Switch

Structure of a quantum network.

A new study has found that using a programmable wavelength-selective switch can help increase the number of users in a quantum network without increasing photon loss from the switching device.

Credit: Navin Lingaraju/Purdue University

Engineers at Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have overcome an obstacle in the development of a quantum Internet via a programmable switch that adjusts the amount of data sent to each user by selecting and rerouting wavelengths of light carrying data channels.

This could increase user numbers without incurring greater photon and data loss as the network expands.

The approach removes the need to physically interchange many fixed optical filters tuned to individual wavelengths, by simply programming the switch to route data-carrying wavelengths to each new user.

The switch also can be programmed to modify bandwidth based on user needs.

From Purdue University News
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