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Samsung and SK Telecom reveal world’s first smartphone with quantum security tech

The pair say there's no tech out there to hack this.
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Samsung Galaxy A Quantum
SK Telecom

Samsung and SK Telecom have just unveiled the world’s first 5G smartphone with a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG). Called the Galaxy A Quantum, the device (which is essentially a rebranded Galaxy A71 5G) offers some pretty decent smartphone features, but the QRNG sets it apart from others in that it makes some apps and services much harder to hack.

Normal random number generators are used for logging into a variety of smartphone services, such as payment platforms and two-factor authentication, which are routinely targeted by bad actors as they can be bypassed. The QRNG chipset, however — the world’s smallest at just 2.5mm by 2.5mm — instead uses an LED and CMOS image sensor. The LED emits “image noise” and the CMOS sensor captures its quantum randomness, using these unpredictable patterns to create truly random number strings. According to SK Telecom, there’s no tech out there that can hack this, which makes the Galaxy A Quantum one of the securest phones on the market (although it’s worth noting that the chip — aka the SKT IDQ S2Q000 — has been designed for use exclusively with SK services). Of course, hackers do love a challenge.

The phone itself comes with a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Infinity-O display with full HD resolution and an in-display fingerprint reader. A rear quad-camera setup includes a 64-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide-angle camera, a five-megapixel macro camera and a five-megapixel depth sensor. There’s a 32-megapixel camera on the front.

The whole device is powered by an Exynos 980 processor, runs Android 10 with One UI 2.0 and comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Plus it offers the whole shebang of connectivity features, including WiFi, GPS, 5G, LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, a USB-C port, a microSD card and that all-important 3.5mm headphone jack. So while its USP is certainly the QRNG chipset, the device itself is a decent all-round powerhouse. It’ll be available in black, blue and silver and will go on sale in Korea from May 22nd for KRW 649,000 (which is around $530).

This isn’t the first time Samsung and SK Telecom have partnered up for a world first. Back in September last year the pair announced they were teaming up to develop the first 8K TV with 5G speeds. Samsung has since continued its quantum crusade in a variety of other applications, although this is the first time we’ve seen it applied to smartphone technology. It certainly won’t be the last.

 

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