Samsung Developed The Second Smartphone With 'Quantum Random Number Generator'


There are many ways to generate random numbers. But if the method is bound by the laws of classical physics, the numbers can be predicted.

For this reason, most sources of random number generators aren't truly random, simply because they use algorithms to produce sequences of numbers that look random. But again, if anyone knows or see the underlying algorithm, the numbers that are supposed to be random, become completely predictable.

Fortunately, researchers have made good progress in developing technologies that can generate and distribute truly random numbers. By measuring the unpredictable attributes of subatomic particles, for example, people can use the rules of quantum mechanics to encrypt messages.

Samsung is the tech giant from South Korea. With a solid track record with smartphone security, the company has gone a step forward when it introduced the Galaxy Quantum 2.

The device is considered the second phone that comes equipped with a chip called the quantum random number generator (QRNG).

What this chip does, is generating tons of random numbers per second for enhanced security of sensitive data.

Samsung Galaxy Quantum 2
A promotional model with the Samsung Galaxy Quantum 2 at the ICT Multiplex T Factory. (Credit: SK Telecom)

To make this happen, Samsung partnered with SK Telecom.

According to a press release by SK Telecom, this Galaxy Quantum 2 is powered by Snapdragon 855+, a 64MP main camera, and uses a 6.7" QHD display.

The 5G-powered device that is initially made available only in South Korea, uses the QRNG chip to generate random numbers and patterns to secure applications used for finance, messaging, and authentication, explained the network operator in a press release.

The QRNG chip can run a large number of encryptors that use the RSA method to multiply prime numbers and generating a public encryption key, and also a private decryption key out of it.

At this time, the method the QRNG uses is extremely difficult to crack, and should be more than enough for most use cases. But in the future, quantum computers may not have this problem.

To overcome its limitation, researchers have thought of QRNG methods to generate complex numbers at a breakneck speed to keep the security intact.

Apps supporting the QRNG chip.
Apps that support the QRNG chip, initially through Galaxy Quantum 2. (Credit: SK Telecom)

It should be noted that SK Telecom itself is no stranger to QRNG chips.

Back in 2016, researchers at the company published a detailed paper describing the function and utility of its 5mm square chip. What the chip does, is generating random numbers by using a phone's camera to measure fluctuations in an LED’s intensity.

However, SK Telecom fell short because as technology moved on, new chips are getting smaller and smaller, and also faster.

By partnering with Samsung, the carrier can benefit from Samsung's expertise in the chip industry, to make the project happen.

As a start, SK Telecom has included partners, like Standard Chartered and Shinhan.

Both SK Telecom and Samsung have also added their own service that supports this QRNG.

"Galaxy Quantum 2 is expected to be a new option for customers who value both performance and security by equipping with quantum encryption security technology enhanced with flagship smartphone-class performance," SK Telecom said. In particular, Galaxy Quantum 2 will provide a differentiated security experience to customers by greatly expanding the convenience and application areas of quantum security services.

The Galaxy Quantum 2 was built following the Galaxy A Quantum, which was considered the first smartphone with a quantum security technology.