(EETimes) Lawrence Gasman, President of Inside Quantum Technology is the author of a must-read article describing “The Market for Quantum Technology: Early Revenue-Generating Applications.
Banks, Investment and Quanta
Probably the biggest markets for quantum computers in the past few years have been R&D and government (including the military and the intelligence community). This is typical of new computing products. But in the view of Inside Quantum Technology, the market where we think quantum computing will first find big commercial success (the “killer app” for quantum computing?) is in the financial services sector (banks, insurance companies, investment firms, etc.)
Pharma: a profitable use for quantum computers
Another area where we see high potential for quantum computers right now is in the specialty chemical and pharma industries. These two areas are similar in that they are both trying to create complex materials. Quantum computers let the chemical and pharma companies bring products to market quicker through simulations and optimizations.
An application to be feared: QKD and the quantum Internet
More efficient banks, pharmaceutical companies would be considered by most people to be a good thing. However, one type of application that quantum computers appear to promise is to be feared; the ability to break popular key encryption (PKE) techniques. Although quantum computers won’t be a threat for quite some time. However, long-lasting information – medical records and plans for aircraft – need protection now because they can be stolen now and decoded when a sufficiently powerful quantum computers become available.
As a result of all this, the encryption community is hard at work producing so-called Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) algorithms, which are currently being standardized by NIST.
Another way to protect the information in the quantum era is to send it over a quantum network that carries qubits, not bits. The much-fabled Quantum Internet as currently being conceived is first and foremost a quantum key encryption network to be developed in stages with various novel quantum encryption features.