Samsung and SK Telecom have just announced the Galaxy A Quantum smartphone, packing a quantum random number generation (RNG) chipset for improved security.
“The quantum random number generation chipset helps smartphone users safely use specific services by generating unpredictable and patternless pure random numbers,” reads a machine-translated excerpt of an SK press release.
The quantum RNG chip has an on-board CMOS image sensor to detect photons, with this being the basis for the random number generation used for encryption keys.
How will it be used?
Samsung and SK say the chip is used when logging into your carrier account on the device, as you first log into your account and then undergo Quantum-based OTP authentication. SK says its account is used for a variety of real-world services, positioning this extra layer of authentication as therefore being more important.
The two firms say the Galaxy A Quantum chip can also be used to securely store personal documents (i.e. insurance documents, graduation certificates etc), preventing forgeries and general falsification.
Finally, SK says that the quantum RNG chip will be used in conjunction with biometric-backed mobile payments at offline retailers.
“When a user of Galaxy A Quantum sets biometric authentication with ‘SKT 5GX Quantum’ in the SK Pay app, you can see the message ‘SK Pay is protected with SKT 5GX Quantum’ at the top of the smartphone screen when using the app,” the Korean carrier explains, adding that online payments backed by quantum security are coming soon.
SK says it plans to share open APIs for the tech, potentially opening the door for even more applications for the quantum RNG chip.
What else to know?
The new phone seems to be a Galaxy A71 5G variant, featuring an Exynos 980 5G chipset, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4,500mAh battery. Other notable specs include a 6.7-inch FHD+ screen with punch-hole cutout, quad rear cameras (64MP+12MP wide+5MP macro+5MP depth), and a 32MP selfie shooter.
The Galaxy A Quantum is available for pre-order from May 15 to 21, with official sales starting on May 22. Expect to pay 649,000 won (~$529) for the device. There’s no word on wider availability, but this would presumably be contingent on apps that take advantage of the quantum RNG chip.