International Data Corporation (IDC) has unveiled its latest forecast for the global quantum computing market, highlighting significant changes in expectations and growth projections.
According to the report, customer spending on quantum computing is set to surge from $1.1 billion in 2022 to an impressive $7.6 billion by 2027. This projected five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.1 percent indicates a strong market expansion.
However, the new forecast contrasts significantly with IDC’s previous projection published in 2021. The revised figures reflect the impact of multiple factors that have hindered quantum computing’s momentum. These factors include slower-than-anticipated advancements in quantum hardware development, the rise of alternative technologies like generative AI that offer more immediate value, and macroeconomic influences such as rising interest and inflation rates, as well as the possibility of an economic downturn.
IDC predicts that the quantum computing market will continue to experience slower growth until a significant breakthrough in quantum hardware development is achieved, leading to a quantum advantage. In the meantime, much of the growth will stem from the maturation of quantum computing as a service infrastructure and platforms, along with the expansion of performance-intensive computing workloads compatible with quantum technology.
The report also forecasts a CAGR of 11.5 percent in investments in the quantum computing market from 2023 to 2027. This translates to a potential total investment of nearly $16.4 billion by the end of 2027. These investments will come from a variety of sources, including public and private institutions, technology and services vendors allocating funds for research and development, as well as external funding from venture capitalists and private equity firms. Notably, global government agencies have shown a growing interest in quantum computing, with 14 of them (spanning 13 countries plus the European Union) launching multi-year quantum initiatives that are expected to yield substantial funding for quantum research.
The substantial investments being funneled into quantum computing research and development have already yielded advancements in hardware and software, along with innovative error mitigation and suppression techniques. These developments have spurred speculation that a near-term quantum advantage could be achievable using today’s noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) systems. In the long run, these investments are anticipated to result in the creation of large-scale quantum systems capable of solving intricate challenges faced by scientists and engineers, thereby driving increased customer spending as the forecast period concludes.
IDC also looks back at 2022 as a pivotal year in the quantum computing industry. During this time, strategic approaches to attain a near-term quantum advantage using NISQ systems became more defined, with vendors focusing on improving qubit scaling and introducing new error mitigation techniques. Quantum accessibility was enhanced, and partnerships for on-premises quantum deployments were established, making quantum technology more user-friendly. Additionally, the anticipation of new scientific accelerator platforms integrating quantum, AI, and high-performance computing (HPC) has been announced by both hardware and software vendors.