Within the SwissQuantum project, a quantum key distribution network connecting the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the Engineering School of Geneva (HEPIA) has been designed and deployed to demonstrate the reliability and robustness of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology for encryption over metropolitan area networks (MAN). For a detailed description of the structure of the network, please refer to the network structure.
Sites are connected together with a pair of dark fibers provided by the Center of Information Technology of the State of Geneva (CTI). Each site — also called node — is presented in the nodes section.
The keys distributed by the network are used by several cryptographic services including encryption of a 10 Gpbs link between CERN and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) using a Centauris Ethernet Encryptor. This link is used to transfer data collected in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN for processing at UNIGE. In this application, high availability is essential.
Incidentally, the SwissQuantum network is probably the first transnational quantum communication network. CERN is indeed located across the Swiss-French border, with its datacenter being located on the French side.
Details on dedicated appliances installed on each node are presented in the equipment section.