Morgan Stanley: This next big technology trend could start the ‘fourth industrial revolution’

Key Points
  • Morgan Stanley says quantum computing will have "far reaching consequences for many sectors."
  • The firm says IBM, Google, Microsoft and Nokia Bell Labs currently have the best quantum computing pipelines.
  • The high-end computing market will double in size to $10 billion during the next decade because of quantum computers, Morgan Stanley predicts.
The D-Wave 2000Q Quantum Computer

Morgan Stanley said quantum computing will have dramatic implications across several industries during the next decade.

Quantum computers use atomic particles and the laws of physics to perform calculations. They are faster than current computers and will enable much higher computing power, according to Morgan Stanley.

"With more companies moving quantum computers from the lab to commercial activities, we believe widespread quantum computing is about to become a reality and holds the key to double the high-end computing market," the firm's research team wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

"We believe quantum computing could trigger the beginning of a fourth industrial revolution, with far reaching consequences for many sectors where computing power is becoming a limitation for R&D."

Here are the industries and applications Morgan Stanley said will be most affected by the new computing paradigm:

"Financials, Pharma (drug discovery), Oil & Gas (well data analysis), Utilities (nuclear fusion), Chemicals (polymer design), Aerospace & Defense (plane design), Capital Goods (digital manufacturing and predictive maintenance), Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data search in general."

The firm said IBM, Google, Microsoft and Nokia Bell Labs currently have the "most credible" quantum computing pipelines.

With faster computing, "classical algorithms, which would take years to solve on a current supercomputer, could take just hours or minutes on a quantum computer," they said.

The analysts said that, according to IBM, the current size of the high-end computing market is $5 billion to $6 billion per year. Morgan Stanley predicts the market will grow to $10 billion a year in the next decade due to the rise of quantum computing.

"We expect the next 10 years to see a rebalancing favoring commercial vs consumer computing as quantum computers are able to solve many problems that could not be solved up until now," they wrote.