A new cryptography chip is designed based on chaos theory and should offer perfect secrecy with unbreakable security. At the moment, the chip has only been developed as a prototype, but it already works.
The new chip has been developed by the Center for Unconventional Processes of Science together with the University of St. Andrews and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. It is a standard silicon chip that is CMOS-compatible, which means that it can be used with modern computer equipment.
In any case, the researchers who developed the chip have set the bar high. Statements such as perfect secrecy and unhackable communication are very dangerous. You must be very sure before you make a statement like that. Usually, this causes extra attention from the hacker community, which can result in these kinds of initiatives to be hacked rather quickly. The future will show how good the chip is and if the bold statements are accurate. More than ten years of work has been done to create the chip and last year a patent was filed.
The chip can be used on public optical networks and is able to work quickly and scalably, allowing it to be used for a wide range of purposes, including classic optical communication, but with improved security. As a result, the chip could be rolled out globally at what the researchers call contained costs.
The use of cryptography chips is not new, but the use of chaos theory is. The chip uses chaos theory in combination with thermodynamics to send and measure signals at the speed of light. Chaos theory predicts the behaviour of systems that are at first sight unpredictable. The unpredictable behaviour is often unstable, which makes it extremely difficult to predict it anyway.
Thermodynamics is a physical principle in which large collections of particles are studied at a macroscopic level. These often chaotically moving particles consist of molecules, atoms or electrons.
The new cryptography chip is clearly developed in a different way than we are used to and by using complex physical principles it may be a lot harder to hack. The question now is whether hackers who want to hack this have enough knowledge or first need to expand their knowledge of physics to understand how this works.