Source-device-independent heterodyne-based quantum random number generator at 17 Gbps

M. Avesani1, D. G. Marangon1G. Vallone1, P. Villoresi1
Nature Communications 9, 5365 (2018)

1Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, via Gradenigo 6/B, 35131 Padova, Italy

Random numbers are commonly used in many different fields, ranging from simulations in fundamental science to security applications. In some critical cases, as Bell’s tests and cryptography, the random numbers are required to be both secure (i.e. known only by the legitimate user) and to be provided at an ultra-fast rate (i.e. larger than Gbit/s). However, practical generators are usually considered trusted, but their security can be compromised in case of imperfections or malicious external actions. In this work we introduce an efficient protocol which guarantees security and speed in the generation. We propose a novel source-device-independent protocol based on generic Positive Operator Valued Measurements and then we specialize the result to heterodyne measurements. The security of the generated numbers is proven without any assumption on the source, which can be even fully controlled by an adversary. Furthermore, we experimentally implemented the protocol by exploiting heterodyne measurements, reaching an unprecedented secure generation rate of 17.42 Gbit/s, without the need to take into account finite-size effects. Our device combines simplicity, ultrafast-rates and high security with low cost components, paving the way to new practical solutions for random number generation.