Quantum Computing

Worldwide spending on quantum computing will grow significantly over the next few years, but not as much as previously forecast, according to International Data Corp. (IDC).

Quantum computing is a critical enabler of quantum networks. Both are based on quantum physics, enabling a potentially disruptive approach to communications. While some people see quantum networking eventually replacing today’s technology, others see it as a niche market for organizations that need a higher level of security.

IDC says that customer spending on the technology will grow from $1.1 billion last year to $7.6 billion in 2027, which is a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.1%. The forecast includes base quantum computing and “enabling and adjacent quantum computing as a service.”

IDC says those numbers are “considerably lower” than in its previous forecast, which was released two years ago. In the interim, the category has seen slower-than-expected hardware development, which resulted in a delay in potential return on investment (ROI). The category also was hurt by the emergence of generative AI and other technologies that are expected to offer greater near-term value. Macroeconomic factors such as higher interest and inflation rates and fears of a recession also are factors in slower-than-expected growth.

The firm says that the slow growth will continue until a major quantum hardware development leads to a significant “quantum advantage.”

IDC also said that investment in quantum computing will grow by a CAGR of 11.5% between this year and 2027 when the amount invested will reach $16.4 billion. The analysts note that 13 countries and the European Union have announced multi-year initiatives that will generate billions of dollars for research.

“There has been much hype around quantum computing and when quantum computing will be able to deliver a quantum advantage, for which use cases, and when,” Heather West, Ph.D., the research manager within IDC’s Enterprise Infrastructure Practice, said in a press release.

“Today’s quantum computing systems may only be suitable for small-scale experimentation, but advances continue to be made like a drumbeat over time. Organizations should not be deterred from investing in quantum initiatives now to be quantum-ready in the future.”

While most quantum networks are run by academic and research organizations, Utility company and fiber network operator EPB officially launched a commercial quantum network in Chattanooga and began accepting applications for connection late last month. EPB became the first community-wide gigabit fiber network operator ten years ago.

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