Grand Challenge


Energy-efficient and secure communication

Communication is a key enabler and key driver for our current and future information society. It enables the internet, our information highway, from massive datacenters, to our cell phones and laptops. It also makes networks of devices and sensors, the so-called Internet-of-Things, possible. Furthermore, communication is an essential part of computers, whether it is the copper lines on a processor chip, or the interconnects and switches in a supercomputer.

Communication, whether it is in a computer, or over the internet, is an exponential technology, showing performance growths similar to computer chips, as expressed by Moore’s Law. For example, our internet bandwidth doubles every 21 months, and the amount of data going through a fiber-optic cable doubles every 9 months. This continued scaling leads to three major challenges. Firstly, the network needs to provide such exponentially increasing bandwidth. Secondly, the energy consumption of this communication needs to go down by an equal amount, to ensure that the energy footprint of the internet remains the same. And thirdly, given the strategic importance of communication, and all that it enables, this communication and information has to be secure, both for now and for the future, when one might even anticipate attacks by a quantum computer.


Departments involved