The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing need for secure communication in sectors such as finance, defense, and healthcare, as well as advancements in quantum technologies, and the growing importance of technologies such as quantum key distribution (QKD) systems, quantum repeaters, and quantum encryption protocols. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize secure communication by providing unprecedented levels of data protection and confidentiality. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Quantum computing in technology: photonic quantum communicationBuy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 1.5 million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Photonic quantum communication is a key innovation area in quantum computing

Photonic quantum communication is an advanced method of secure information exchange using photons based on the principles of quantum mechanics. By leveraging the properties of quantum particles, it enables encryption and transmission of data in a highly secure manner, protecting against interception and tampering. This technology is rapidly advancing and holds promising applications in secure financial transactions, military communications, and data storage, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 150+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of photonic quantum communication.

Key players in photonic quantum communication – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to photonic quantum communication

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
NARI Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 49 Unlock Company Profile
China Electronics Technology Group 67 Unlock Company Profile
Corning 87 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 23 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 79 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Information and Telecommunication 20 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 23 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Science and Technology Agency 16 Unlock Company Profile
Northrop Grumman 18 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 32 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 123 Unlock Company Profile
ELMOS Semiconductor 114 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 33 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 19 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 13 Unlock Company Profile
Oki Electric Industry 28 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 30 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 112 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 27 Unlock Company Profile
KT 21 Unlock Company Profile
SK Telecom 83 Unlock Company Profile
BT Group 65 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 314 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 62 Unlock Company Profile
MagiQ Technologies 20 Unlock Company Profile
IonQ 24 Unlock Company Profile
X Development 17 Unlock Company Profile
PsiQuantum 51 Unlock Company Profile
QuantumCTek 120 Unlock Company Profile
Qubitekk 19 Unlock Company Profile
ColdQuanta 16 Unlock Company Profile
Arqit 55 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toshiba is the leading patent filer in photonic quantum communication space. One of the company’s patents helps understand a component of a quantum communication system which consists of an input section with multiple waveguides and a decoder section with multiple decoders. The input and decoder sections are integrated on a single substrate, allowing continuous and interconnected waveguides. The waveguides in the input section direct light pulses to the waveguides of the decoder section, enabling parallel operation of the decoders.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Nokia and QuantumCTek.

By geographic reach, IonQ leads the pack, followed by ELMOS Semiconductor and Nokia. In terms of application diversity, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson holds the top position, followed by IonQ and X Development.

Photonic quantum communication offers highly secure and tamper-proof communication channels. By utilizing the principles of quantum mechanics, photonic quantum communication enables the transmission of information in a way that is resistant to interception and manipulation. This technology holds great promise for applications requiring secure data transmission, such as secure financial transactions, military communications, and data storage. It has the potential to revolutionize the field of communication and enhance the security of sensitive information.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Quantum Computing.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.