(FierceElectronics) This week, it is becoming clear from presentations and comments during the Inside Quantum Technology New York conference that quantum computing is indeed practical, and even better, it represents the core of a broader, rapidly emerging quantum technology market that will impact many industries and generate billions of dollars in revenue within the next decade.
Early quantum computers were not always able to harness quantum mechanical principles in such a way to produce high quality or highly reliable results, but they are quickly improving. “Until a year ago, it was still possible for critics to say that this is not going to go anywhere,” said Lawrence Gasman, president of Inside Quantum Technology (IQT) Research and a longtime technology analyst and forecaster across many sectors. “Critics would say the error rates of quantum computers are too high. That is not happening anymore.”
The quantum computing market could surpass $2 billion in revenue in the next five years, according to IQT Research, as the technology is used in a variety of applications, including cloud-based computing, sensors for medical imaging, security and networking, with the ultimate goal of enabling a “quantum internet,” a term used by several conference presenters this week. Much of the early market value could come from access to cloud-based quantum computing resources, with lesser revenue coming from hardware and software, the research found.
Five years ago this month, IBM placed its first publicly-available quantum computer in the cloud. This prompted conference keynote speaker Bob Sutor, chief quantum exponent at IBM to say, “We’re now in the second half of the first decade of having a real quantum computer.” Most quantum computers are still cloud-based.
But Sutor, who also is the author of “Dancing with Qubits: How Quantum Computing Works and How It Can Change the World,” said the focus of those harnessing and improving the power of this evolving technology needs to become more practical. “The focus for quantum technology needs to be on real use cases for real people,” he said.