Entangled photons can be used to create a truly secure communication link between two parties. However, the distance over which this can be achieved is limited by the transmission losses associated with optical fibers. One potential solution is using quantum repeaters (QRs) where initial entanglement is created over short distances and then extended via entanglement swapping. The system-level performance metrics (data rate, fidelity of entanglement, etc.) impose demands upon the hardware components (of a QR), which can be used to guide applied materials and device design toward these objectives. This has become increasingly important with an expanding list of candidates for quantum technologies, as the physical realization of each qubit or detector technology brings its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we present a framework that uses a modular QR and highlights the tradeoffs that exist between technological component modules. Using reported values, we take a near-term perspective and show the achievable range of rates as a function of distance and the corresponding requirements on matter qubit properties.
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