The quantum technology market leverages nano-scale physics to create revolutionary new devices for computing, sensing, and communications.

Across the industry, quantum technology offers a paradigm shift in performance compared with incumbent solutions.

In this article, Dr Tess Skyrme, senior technology analyst at IDTechEx, provides an overview of the insights on offer in the recently published report, “Quantum Technology Market 2024-2034: Trends, Players, Forecasts”.

Quantum computing is being developed in a range of hardware platforms, including superconducting, trapped-ion, neutral atom, silicon-spin, photonic, diamond, and more.

Competition is building between start-ups and established computer manufacturers alike to demonstrate a quantum advantage in computational speed up through the use of qubits in place of classical bits.

Quantum computing is just beginning to be adopted to solve industry scale optimization and logistics problems, but it holds promise of going much further. In particular, future applications within simulation are anticipated to hugely accelerate drug discovery and the search for more sustainable energy alternatives.

The quantum space race is underway, with governments worldwide anxious to capture the value and security that becoming a world leader in the quantum computing market would offer.

Quantum sensing market

In many ways, the platforms developed for quantum computing have origins in development for quantum sensing.

The sensitivity of quantum states to environmental noise – which is such a challenge in computing – can be harnessed in sensing for highly sensitive measurements of time, magnetic field, current, gravity, light, and movement.

As such, quantum sensors have applications such as atomic clocks, magnetometers, photo-detectors, gravimeters, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and more.

However, the market demands in the sensor market vary significantly from high-performance computing – leading to a distinct set of opportunities and challenges.

To compete with incumbent sensor technology, quantum sensors must not only offer a significant performance advantage but also be commercialized into a small, low power and cost-effective package.

The manufacturing challenge has somewhat stalled the quantum sensor market in recent years, partially leading to a pivot in hype and private investment towards computing.

However, as the need for quantum foundries and component manufacture becomes a clearer necessity for quantum computing, the opportunities for quantum sensing are seeing somewhat of a revival. Moreover, the quantum sensor market has the long-term potential to have a huge impact in high-volume industries such as automotive and consumer electronics.

Quantum communications market

Quantum communications technology seeks to improve data security, which is increasingly compromised in the modern world. The world is generating higher and higher volumes of data, with increasing concerns about its sensitivity.

Meanwhile, bad actors are committing more advanced cybercrimes – keen to exploit the value of virtually shared trade secrets, financial data, health records, and more.

Moreover, the scaling up of quantum computing threatens to undermine existing cryptography methods entirely – leaving a gap in the market for new ‘quantum-ready’ technology solutions able to meet the next generation of encryption needs.

Quantum technology market outlook

The technology differentials within the entire quantum technology market can be complex to understand, and in many instances, stakeholders are lacking clarity as to the nature and scale of the opportunities on offer in this emerging market.