QTI presents a live QKD demo at OFC 2024

From 24 to 28 March 2024, QTI participated in the OFC 2024 Conference and Exhibition taking place at the San Diego Convention Center, USA. QTI’s DV-QKD systems were used for a live QKD demonstration within the OFCnet initiative.

The Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) is the leading international gathering for professionals in optical communications and networking, drawing participants from across the globe. The event features a Conference and Exhibition spotlighting the newest developments and emerging technologies in the industry.

Traditionally mostly focused on telecom and optics, the quantum is gaining momentum in the OFC, featuring in the 2024 edition nine demonstrations of quantum technologies and a number of dedicated sessions at the Technical Conference.


QTI in the OFCnet initiative

One of OFC’s highlights was the live interoperability demonstrations from leading optics and quantum companies running over OFCnet.

OFCnet is a high-speed optical network built to connect and showcase the latest emerging technologies from the industry within the OFC Convention Center. This booth-to-booth fiber connectivity provided opportunities for exhibitors to showcase advancements and capabilities in a live real-time network environment. 

OFCnet live demonstrations at OFC 2024. @OFCnet

QTI ran a live videoconference secured by using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). This was possible thanks to an engaging partnership with Telsy S.p.A., the cybersecurity and cryptography competence center of TIM Enterprise, and SM-Optics, an Italian company developing state-of-the-art WDM devices.

The successful demonstration enabled quantum-secured video conferencing using traditional symmetric encryption methods and keys to encrypt and decrypt the real-time traffic.

OFC demo architecture
QTI/Telsy/SM-Optics OFCnet demo architecture

A quantum link deployed using dark fiber between QTI’s booth and OFCnet Central used the QTI’s DV-QKD system to exchange high-rate symmetric keys between the two locations.

The generated keys were delivered to Telsy’s encryptors (TelsyMusaX) using QTI’s control and key management entity (QKME).

The real-time traffic generated by a live videoconference enabled by the web conferencing system TelsyAntares between two clients, and combined into a single-mode fiber with an add/drop filter by SM-OPTICS, was encrypted and decrypted with the symmetric keys.

QTI's booth
QTI's Booth at OFC 2024

Demo Highlights

  • Technological maturity. The live demo showcased a real-world application of the QKD technology.
  • End-to-end solution. The demo proposed a complete QKD solution incorporating fully made in Italy classical and quantum technology through the fruitful partnership between QTI, Telsy, and SM-Optics.
  • Public’s engagement. The live video conference showcased a real-world application of QKD, making the technology more accessible and helping the general public grasp its potential.
  • Networking. Many new connections were favoured by the participation in an exhibition featuring more than 600 exhibiting companies and taking part to the collaborative OFCnet environment.
  • Advancing the European Industrial Quantum Communications Infrastructure Ecosystem. The demo was conducted within the EQUO project, the industrial project gathering various stakeholders in the field of quantum technologies and related issues within the context of the EuroQCI.

QTI in the Technical Conference

QTI had a tight agenda also at the Technical Conference. OFC was the occasion to present the state-of-the art company’s research and business achievements.

On Wednesday 27th March, QTI’s co-founder and CTO Davide Bacco gave an Invited Talk on Photonic Integrated Circuits for Quantum Communication at the Technical Conference. The very appreciated contents generated much debate and fruitful discussion on such a disruptive topic.

On the same date, QTI’s co-founder and CEO Tommaso Occhipinti contributed to the OFCnet Panel discussion “Beyond point-to-point QKD” giving insights on QTI’s live demonstration in the OFCnet and the latest activities and achievements of the company.

QTI also presented the research results about Long Distance Quantum Key Distribution Supported by a PIC-Based Interferometer in the very participated Poster Session.

OFCnet Panel
OFCnet Panel Discussion at OFC
QTI's team
QTI's Team at OFC 2024


The recent live demonstration of QKD technology stands as a testament to the remarkable progress made in the field of quantum communication and proved a comprehensive end-to-end solution developed by Italian companies.

At the same time, the demonstration has not only showcased the potential of QKD but has also brought it closer to the public eye.