Quantum Trends: 2023 and beyond

Quantum Trends: 2023 and beyond

Part 1: Near-term trends

For the past couple of years, big names in the tech industry are in hot pursuit of quantum computing. Names like Airbus, Daimler, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, the US Department of Energy are all lining up behind quantum possibilities and putting in massive funds and effort. It is part of a larger strategy on the future of Big Tech whereinQuantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and the Cloud shall form the three essential pillars of an integrated technological future. In that vision, quantum plays a crucial role.

Standing at this crucial juncture, we look ahead to survey the key trends that will be dominating quantum computing research in the new year and beyond. Overall, it appears that quantum computing will continue to make the splash it has been creating in the recent couple of years.

In this two-part series, Part 1 will focus on the near-term trends that will be dominating in 2023. Part 2 will discuss the mid- to long-term possibilities in quantum computing.

Brute power

The unprecedented power of quantum computers makes them useful in many scenarios where classical computers fall far behind. Pioneer breakthroughs are expected in domains as diverse as immersive mixed-reality solutions, chemistry, bio-medical developments, astrophysics, materials, supply chain, and logistics, financial services, and a lot more. Quantum cryptography could change the dynamics of data security, making systems totally immune to wiretap or intercept. And quantum teleportation could revolutionise communication networks. And combining the unique capabilities of traditional and quantum computing over the Cloud to derive the best of both worlds together–could offer limitless possibilities.

Compared to traditional computer systems, the USP of quantum computing is twofold – the speed of computing and the level of complexity it can handle. Taken together, these can transform the world of computing altogether, and achieve solutions that are as yet unthinkable. However, the acid test is going to be channelising the progress made so far into creating commercial applications. 

2023 Quantum Trends

  • Quantum transformation starts in enterprises in a big way. Business processes and systems will be increasingly made quantum ready ascommercialization of quantum computinggets serious.Further advancements on error mitigation, algorithms, and circuit knitting techniques will lay the groundwork for industry to move toward the first applications with a quantum advantage that benefits business and science.
  • Instead of theoretical proof-of-concepts, focus will radically shift towards identifying and supporting hardware approaches that can reach utility-scale quantum computing using currently available engineering.
  • Research will now focus on new approaches to hardware, with mixed systems, partly based on quantum states of matter, and with longer lifetimes that will provide memory to the systems.
  • While quantum hybrid optimisation applications shall take the centre stage,achieving quantum advantage by combining quantum sensors with small quantum processors could be another viable approach.
  • Emergence of neutral atom quantum computers as a scalable approach is a strong possibility.
  • Government involvement in quantum computing will significantly increase all over the world – both in terms of investment anddata security measures.
  • Quantum cyber vulnerability scanning, and risk assessment shall become best-practices for cybersecurity managers and IT procurement.
  • Major progress to be expected in quantum error correction, withmore efficient error-correcting codes and fault-tolerance schemes. Error correction is the key that can help develop practical quantum computing. Because qubits (quantum bits) are unstable,they are prone to high volume of errors that can quickly overwhelm the system. Decoding these will involve real-time identification and correction of billions of errors. This is perhaps the biggest challenge on which all major quantum players are currently focussing, and we expect to see results soon.
  • Research in quantum signal processingand quantum networking will gather momentum. Their first use case are likely to be hacker-proof communications systems. Quantum networked use cases like quantum key distribution are already being employed for secure data transmissions over short distances.
  • As more and more lay users get to use quantum software, the developing companies will gather a valuable trove of user-experience feedback that would help explore potential future enhancements.
  • The world shall witness increasing policy discussions and debates around national quantum strategies, balancing international cooperation, and development of global markets as well as domestic industries.
  • The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has alreadyreleased their first four standards for quantum-safe cryptography protocols. This area has already gained significant traction, as governments and companies try tointegrate these protocols into their processes and systems. This is one vital ask for a quantum safe future.
  • The general interest in quantum computing and quantum information is increasing dramatically. Educational institutions and companies are eager to train students and developers in quantum engineering. Quantum computing, as a subject would soon be a part of the curricula in most engineering undergraduate schools.

[Continued: Part 2 will discuss the mid- to long-term trends]

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