Total revenues generated from quantum computing services will exceed US$15 billion by 2028, forecasts ABI research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies.
The demand for quantum computing services will be driven by some process hungry research and development projects as well as by the emergence of several applications including advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, next-generation cyber security encryption, traffic routing and scheduling, protein synthesis, and/or the design of advanced chemicals and materials.
These applications require a new processing paradigm that classical computers, bound by Moore’s law, cannot cope with. However, one should not expect quantum computers to displace their classical counterparts anytime soon.
Unlike classical computers, based on sequential processing principles, quantum computers leverage their strengths from two fundamental characteristics inspired from quantum physics, namely entanglement and superposition, which make them super powerful for undertaking certain tasks, notably inter-correlated events that need to be executed in parallel.
Quantum computing is, however, still in its embryonic stage of development and is not ready for large-scale commercial deployment anytime in the near to mid-term. Scalability, technology stability, reliability, and cost efficiency are the major factors the industry should address before seeing quantum computers moving beyond lab projects or very restricted and constrained commercial deployment.
The attempts to create quantum computers that are stable and have low error rate require heavy investment in infrastructure, software development, and human expertise. The operation is currently performed under extreme low-temperature, high magnetic field, and in a vacuum or sterile environment, making the technology extremely difficult to scale and expensive to operate.
It is therefore not surprising that quantum computing is unlikely to achieve the distribution level of classical computers anytime within the next 10 years. The technology will remain concentrated in the cloud domain for many years to come.
D-Wave Systems, IBM, and Rigetti Computing are few of the vendors that have commercial quantum computing systems. Based on adiabatic quantum computation, D-Wave System’s quantum computer has been sold to government agencies, aerospace, and cybersecurity vendors.
However, this type of system is constrained in terms of computational capabilities as compared to the rest of its counterparts. IBM, Rigetti Computing and other cloud computing giants such as Alibaba, Google, Intel, and Microsoft are opting for a quantum computing system based on the quantum gate model.