ANU launches quantum-powered random number generator on AWS Marketplace

More than 310,000 active AWS customers will be able to make unlimited random number requests.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The team behind ANU Quantum Numbers: Dr Syed Assad, Dr Aaron Tranter and Professor Ping Koy Lam (left to right)

Image: ANU

The Australian National University (ANU) has announced the ANU Quantum Numbers (AQN) online random number generator has been launched on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace to scale the service and make it available to more than 310,000 active AWS customers.

According to ANU, AQN uses quantum technology to generate true random numbers at high speed and in real-time by measuring the quantum fluctuations of the vacuum.

"Quantum physics practically provides an infinite source of truly random numbers. These quantum random numbers are guaranteed by the laws of physics to be unpredictable and unbiased," AQN team leader Professor Ping Koy Lam said.

"This technology relies on the detection of vacuum. Vacuum is not a region of space that is completely empty and devoid of energy. In fact, it still contains noise at the quantum level.

"Through AWS Marketplace, ANU is offering an incredibly powerful source of randomness easily accessible to customers across the globe."

Under the free tier of the service, anyone online can create an API key to make up to 100 requests a month to the AQN API. However, by launching AQN on AWS Marketplace, AWS customers can make unlimited requests and be charged for each request they make. 

AQN has been operating out of a lab on campus for the last 10 years, ANU said. It added that the university has received more than two billion requests for random numbers from 70 countries for the purpose of clinical trials, simulating processes and events in computer games, generating secure passwords, simulating virus outbreak behaviours, and predicting the weather.

"Random numbers are needed in IT, data science, and modelling. Without random numbers you can't have reliable models for forecasting and research simulation," said Dr Syed Assad, one of the researchers behind AQN.  

"But they are also used by artists to help with removing human biases from their creative work. In computer gaming and smart contracts, true random numbers are also an indispensable resource. We've even had a request from a father to generate random numbers that he then used as inspiration for his daughter's name." 

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