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Lessons Learned on the Interface Between Quantum and Conventional Networking...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
SMC 2021: Driving Scientific and Engineering Discoveries Through the Integration of Experiment, Big Data, and Modeling and Simulation
Publication Date
Page Numbers
262 to 279
Publisher Location
Cham, Switzerland
Conference Name
Smoky Mountains Computational Sciences and Engineering Conference (SMC)
Conference Location
Kingsport, Tennessee, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Conference Date

The future Quantum Internet is expected to be based on a hybrid architecture with core quantum transport capabilities complemented by conventional networking. Practical and foundational considerations indicate the need for conventional control and data planes that (i) utilize extensive existing telecommunications fiber infrastructure, and (ii) provide parallel conventional data channels needed for quantum networking protocols. We propose a quantum-conventional network (QCN) harness to implement a new architecture to meet these requirements. The QCN control plane carries the control and management traffic, whereas its data plane handles the conventional and quantum data communications. We established a local area QCN connecting three quantum laboratories over dedicated fiber and conventional network connections. We describe considerations and tradeoffs for layering QCN functionalities, informed by our recent quantum entanglement distribution experiments conducted over this network.