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Market intelligence report: next generation computing


Next generation computing systems are defined as ‘systems that enable complex and sophisticated computing applications to be executed in an efficient and cost-effective manner’. The report aimed to: provide an overview of the next generation computing market; set out key trends, drivers and inhibitors; review the outlook for market development; and describe seven market opportunities. The report identified market opportunities which would: require more powerful computing systems or a larger number of interconnected systems than is being economically realised currently; include applications which would generate more value, from operating more efficiently, by being faster and by requiring less power or cost; and discover application features not practical or widely implemented today due to a lack of available computing power.


The methodology consisted of: interviews and a workshop with experts from academia and commerce; desk-based research of data from internationally recognised analysts and sources; and contributions from The Technology Partnership (TTP) and the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC).


The report finds that, as with any new market which offers significant new commercial opportunity, the emergence and growth of aggressive technology start-ups and small companies with innovative products can be expected. The computer industry continues to innovate to address the challenge of the loss of traditional drivers. For example, the industry is exploring the use of various semiconductor materials and improved isolators and is in the process of adopting multi-core architectures to sustain Moore’s Law, while semi-conductor processes continue to deliver smaller and higher-density structures on silicon. However, while hardware continues to pursue performance improvement, software engineering productivity has not exhibited the same rate of performance improvement. With the growing complexity of systems and more components working in parallel, overall software development efficiency has decreased. The key drivers impacting the next generation computing market are: significant technology progress in both computing and communications; the availability and affordability of multi-core processors; a requirement for the reduction in energy consumption for all computing platforms; and demand for increasing performance from complex applications. The key inhibitors of next generation computing include: software engineering productivity not progressing in line with growing complexity of interconnected systems and applications; standardisation and regulatory barriers; and large legacy systems slowing down the migration to novel systems.


The report suggests that opportunities within the context of Next Generation Computing could represent a significant new and addressable market for technology businesses in Scotland. The report identifies seven opportunities which could lead to the creation of technically novel and commercially exciting enabling technology platforms, including: parallel software tools; hardware acceleration; natural language processing; cognitive radio; optical computing; systems biology simulation; and long-tail software services. Prior to progressing further, ITI Techmedia will seek to engage with ITI members to validate and confirm these opportunities that should form the basis for its subsequent activities.

Author ITI Techmedia
Published Year 2010
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies