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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 23 — Nov. 8, 2010
  • pp: 23584–23597

Fast physical random number generator using amplified spontaneous emission

Caitlin R. S. Williams, Julia C. Salevan, Xiaowen Li, Rajarshi Roy, and Thomas E. Murphy  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 23, pp. 23584-23597 (2010)

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We report a 12.5 Gb/s physical random number generator (RNG) that uses high-speed threshold detection of the spectrally-sliced incoherent light produced by a fiber amplifier. The system generates a large-amplitude, easily measured, fluctuating signal with bandwidth that is constrained only by the optical filter and electrical detector used. The underlying physical process (spontaneous emission) is inherently quantum mechanical in origin, and therefore cannot be described deterministically. Unlike competing optical RNG approaches that require photon counting electronics, chaotic laser cavities, or state-of-the-art analog-to-digital converters, the system employs only commonly available telecommunications-grade fiber optic components and can be scaled to higher speeds or multiplexed into parallel channels. The quality of the resulting random bitstream is verified using industry-standard statistical tests.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.6600) Coherence and statistical optics : Statistical optics
(060.0060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics and optical communications
(060.2320) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics amplifiers and oscillators
(270.2500) Quantum optics : Fluctuations, relaxations, and noise
(230.2285) Optical devices : Fiber devices and optical amplifiers

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: September 9, 2010
Revised Manuscript: October 19, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: October 20, 2010
Published: October 26, 2010

Caitlin R. S. Williams, Julia C. Salevan, Xiaowen Li, Rajarshi Roy, and Thomas E. Murphy, "Fast physical random number generator using amplified spontaneous emission," Opt. Express 18, 23584-23597 (2010)

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