Forward-looking: Think your 5G phone has the most cutting-edge technology out there? Well, here comes a handset with quantum tech. The futuristic-sounding device is the result of a partnership between Samsung and South Korea’s SK Telecom, and is the world’s first 5G smartphone with a quantum random number generator (QRNG) chipset.
Aptly named the Galaxy A Quantum, the device is actually a rebranded Galaxy A71 5G—one of Samsung’s popular mid-range handsets that launched earlier this year. Powered by the Exynos 980 SoC, the phone has a 6.7-inch OLED screen, in-display optical finger sensor, and a quad-lens camera setup.
What sets the quantum version apart from the regular A71 is its inclusion of the QRNG chipset, which makes it incredibly secure. Random numbers are an essential element in many security systems, but they’re not always as random as one might think, making them vulnerable to hacks.
Image credit: ID Quantique
The QRNG chipset, which is separate from the SoC, contains a light-emitting diode and an image sensor. ID Quantique explains that thanks to quantum noise, the LED emits a random number of photons. These are captured and counted by the image sensor’s pixels, providing a series of random numbers that are fed to a random bit generator algorithm, thereby further distilling the "entropy of quantum origin" to create completely unpredictable random bits.
By pairing the system with a compatible online service, the connection is unhackable, claims SK Telecom, though it only works with the company’s services right now. The firm said that going forward, it “will expand its footprint in the quantum security business by integrating QRNGs to more devices and networks.”
The Galaxy A Quantum will go on sale May 22 in South Korea for around $530. There’s no word on whether it will launch in other regions.