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NVIDIA's cuPQC software accelerates move to post-quantum cryptography
Wed, 20th Mar 2024

NVIDIA has introduced cuPQC, a software solution designed to accelerate the development of cryptographic systems. The company believes these will be important in the upcoming era of quantum computing.

NVIDIA's technology capitalises on the parallel processing capabilities of GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) to provide massive efficiency improvements for complex security algorithms crucial to future communications security.

The development responds to an anticipated breach in security expected with the advent of quantum computing. For some time now, researchers have warned that current public keys, used to secure communications, won’t withstand quantum computer capabilities. Government bodies and industries alike have been gearing up to tackle this significant issue head-on. To illustrate, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology plans to launch the pioneer standard algorithms for post-quantum cryptography, possibly this year. To achieve this, cryptographers necessitate powerful systems to create and validate their work.

For the first time, the performance of cuPQC has been tested with the Kyber algorithm, a proposed standard for the assurance of quantum-resistant keys. When run on NVIDIA’s H100 Tensor Core GPU, it exhibited an escalating effect of as much as 500 times the speed of a CPU. NVIDIA’s forthcoming Blackwell architecture GPUs promise to deliver even greater speed enhancements due to integer maths enhancements that are used in cryptography and various high-performance computing workloads.

"Securing data against quantum threats is a critically important problem, and we're excited to work with NVIDIA to optimise post-quantum cryptography," said Douglas Stebila, co-founder of the Open Quantum Safe Project, a group that champions research and work in this emergent field.

NVIDIA’s project forms part of the freshly constituted Post-Quantum Cryptography Alliance, which is managed by the Linux Foundation. The alliance supports open-source projects intended for the establishment of libraries and applications for post-quantum situations. NVIDIA, as an alliance member, holds positions on both its steering and technical committees. The tech giant is additionally working alongside notable cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure to trial cuPQC.

Further collaborations of NVIDIA include partnerships with leading businesses in post-quantum cryptography, such as EvolutionQ, PQShield, QuSecure, and SandboxAQ. Many of these companies plan to incorporate cuPQC into their offerings. Ben Packman, a senior vice president at PQShield, noted, "Different use cases will require a range of approaches for optimal acceleration. We are delighted to explore cuPQC with NVIDIA."