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Opt Express. 2010 Mar 1;18(5):5188-98. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.005188.

Chaos-on-a-chip secures data transmission in optical fiber links.

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  • 1Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Ilisia 15784, Greece.


Security in information exchange plays a central role in the deployment of modern communication systems. Besides algorithms, chaos is exploited as a real-time high-speed data encryption technique which enhances the security at the hardware level of optical networks. In this work, compact, fully controllable and stably operating monolithic photonic integrated circuits (PICs) that generate broadband chaotic optical signals are incorporated in chaos-encoded optical transmission systems. Data sequences with rates up to 2.5 Gb/s with small amplitudes are completely encrypted within these chaotic carriers. Only authorized counterparts, supplied with identical chaos generating PICs that are able to synchronize and reproduce the same carriers, can benefit from data exchange with bit-rates up to 2.5Gb/s with error rates below 10(-12). Eavesdroppers with access to the communication link experience a 0.5 probability to detect correctly each bit by direct signal detection, while eavesdroppers supplied with even slightly unmatched hardware receivers are restricted to data extraction error rates well above 10(-3).

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