Commercial quantum computing unlikely before 2027

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Based on feedback from executives and companies in the quantum computing industry, research analyst GlobalData predicts full commercialization of quantum computing by 2027.

Quantum computing has entered the public discourse over the past three years, surrounded by much hype and widely differing timelines for commercialization. A geopolitical race to be the first to bring a flawless quantum computer to market has led to a confluence of interest and funding from big corporations, venture capitalists and policymakers. Inflated company valuations and the failure to deliver on promised technological milestones, along with broader macroeconomic conditions, have led to an industry consensus that 2023 will mark the start of a “quantum winter”.

Despite a possible slowdown in the development of the sector, quantum computing remains a national agenda. As companies and governments prepare for the moment for the availability of a commercial quantum computer, technological breakthroughs and failures are still highly unpredictable in a technology field notorious for its technical challenges.

“Any predictions about the quantum computing market are, at best, reasonable given its emergence and the prospect of unexpected breakthroughs,” according to the GlobalData Thematic Intelligence Quantum Computing report, published on March 10, 2023.

dr Ilana Wisby, CEO and founder of UK company Oxford Quantum Circuits said: “The world has been waiting for quantum computers to mature enough to transform our lives.

Quantum computing represents a major shift in terms of technology and processes. Unlike classical computers, quantum computers can process huge amounts of data at incredible speeds,” Wisby added.

The company announced in March 2023 a partnership with US data center giant Equinix to make its quantum computing-as-a-service available to companies and organizations on Equinix’s global platform in late 2023.

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Most companies working towards becoming quantum-ready are currently experimenting with simulation, which companies like Oxford offer Quantum Circuits as a cloud-based service. Most industry experts agree that quantum computing-as-a-service will be how most companies will interact with the technology, as the cost of owning a quantum computer — even if it’s ready for the market — will be prohibitive .

GlobaData thematic research estimates the size of the quantum computing market in 2022 at between USD 500 million and USD 1 billion. The analyst predicts that the market will reach $10 billion between 2026 and 2030, at a compound annual growth rate of between 30% and 50%.

Big players are emerging in quantum computing, including Honeywell subsidiary Quantinuum, Psi Quantum (the best-funded startup in the space), and big tech companies like Google and IBM. At the same time, an ecosystem of quantum computing startups is rapidly developing, focusing on diverse areas such as quantum cybersecurity, operating software, and hardware components. The industry is experiencing increasing subsidies.

Global venture capital funding in quantum computing startups has been growing steadily since 2018, reaching $1.62 billion in 2022, according to GlobalData.

During this period from 2018 to 2022, transaction volume remained constant while funding increased, indicating a maturation of the market with larger deals taking place at later stages.

To date, there have only been three IPOs by quantum computing companies: IonQ, Rigetti Computing, and D-Wave. Given the current market volatility, it’s unlikely that other late-stage quantum startups will go public anytime soon. With the challenges facing the broader global startup ecosystem and broader macroeconomic conditions predicted for 2023, it remains to be seen what advances quantum computing will make in 2023.

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