In this piece, we will take a look at the 12 most advanced countries in computer technology. For more countries, head on over to 5 Most Advanced Countries in Computer Technology.
Computer technology is the backbone of the modern world. Ever since Charles Babbage started tinkering around with what was called the Difference Engine in 1822 and Konrad Zuse built the Z3 in 1938, computing has improved by leaps and bounds. A simple example of this fact is that some of the first computers weighed as much as 70 kilograms, and today’s most advanced processor has transistors that are as small as 3 nanometers. For reference, a single human hair is thought to be as thick as 100,000 nanometers.
Much of the advancement in the modern day computing era has come through hardware innovation. Semiconductors, which have become one of the most prized products in the world, are the chips that power devices such as smartphones and laptops. These owe their origins to a flurry of developments that took place in the United States in the 1970s. In fact, the U.S. Navy can very well be said to have developed the world’s first chip, when it teamed up with Garrett AiResearch to develop a computer for the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet. At the same time, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) Intel 4004 and a similar product from Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN) were also taking shape. From then until now, billions of microprocessors have been produced, and the rest is history.
While the microprocessor is the heart of computer technology, since no computer can run without it, the field itself involves a variety of other subsystems as well. These include, but are not limited to random access memory (RAM), storage, monitors, display units, peripherals, routers, power management devices, signals processors, and brackets. The industry itself is one of the largest in the world, and according to the research firm The Business Research Company, the global information technology market was worth a whopping $8.3 trillion in 2020. That’s right folks, IT is more valuable than crude oil in today’s world. By the end of 2022, due in just a couple of days, the research firm expects that the IT industry will be worth another stunning $9.3 trillion.
However, even though IT has taken the world by storm, its days are numbered. The physical limit of microprocessors is fast approaching, which in simple terms means that after 2-nanometer and maybe 1-nanometer, hardware will stop advancing. Major chipmakers such as Intel and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM) aim to start producing 2-nanometer chips in 2025, so perhaps the end of computing advancement might be with us by the end of this decade.
The ‘end’ of traditional computing of course. Even as silicon-based chips are at their peak, quantum computing is only starting. While a traditional computer makes billions of on/off or 0/1 calculations by turning its transistors on or off, a quantum computer is not limited to these binary states and therefore is able to deliver vastly superior performance. In fact, while information technology is limited to an 11.2% CAGR, the quantum computing market on the other hand is believed to grow at an eye popping 31.2% CAGR between 2022 and 2029 to sit at $4.7 billion. In addition to Intel, some key players in the quantum computing market, with their own quantum computing chips are International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Rigetti Computing (NASDAQ:RGTI), and D-Wave Systems Inc. (NYSE:QBTS).
We used data from the OECD patent database to sift out the top computing technology countries in the world. The patents used are under the WIPO’s Computing Technology filing category.
12 Most Advanced Countries in Computer Technology
12. Commonwealth of Australia
Number of Computer Technology Patents Between 1999 and 2019: 2,183
The Commonwealth of Australia, or simply Australia, is the only country in the world that covers the mainland of an entire continent. Australia is a prosperous nation, with a GDP per capita of $62,192. It also spends billions of dollars on research expenditure every year. In fact, according to Accenture, the Australian technology sector contributes a whopping $167 billion to the economy of a country that has historically relied on its mining industry to fuel growth. Australians have contributed to WiFi and spectroscopy. Between 1999 and 2019, they scored 2,183 patents as well – despite the country ranking 53rd globally in terms of population.
11. State of Israel
Number of Computer Technology Patents Between 1999 and 2019: 2,450
The State of Israel is a Middle Eastern country that is one of the most technologically advanced in the region. Israeli firms are known for their computing technology prowess, Intel has chipmaking plants in the country, and the Israeli startup ecosystem is one of the most vibrant in the world. Most of the Israeli homes use solar energy to warm their water, and the country had more than 6,000 startups as of 2021. Israeli scientists have also developed unique encryption and information sharing algorithms, and one of its most crucial contributions to computer technology has been the development of the nanowire – which has applications for both traditional and quantum computing. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Israel women 2,450 patents for computer technology between 1999 and 2019.
10. Republic of India
Number of Computer Technology Patents Between 1999 and 2019: 4,179
The Republic of India is the third largest economy in the world, and the second largest country in terms of population. Due to its population, its telecommunications industry has one of the largest subscriber bases in the world. In fact, India has beaten China when it comes to Mars exploration, as its orbiter was the first to reach Mars and the first to do so on the first attempt. In terms of computing technology, Indians have invented a programming language, an antenna, and even microwave communication. Some Indian computer technology firms are Compuage Infocom Limited (NSE:COMPINFO.NS), HCL Infosystems Limited (NSE:HCL-INSYS.NS), Vintron Informatics Ltd., and Cerebra Integrated Technologies Limited (NSE:CEREBRAINT.BO). Indian computer technology patents were 4,179 between 1999 and 2019.
9. Republic of China (ROC)
Number of Computer Technology Patents Between 1999 and 2019: 4,216
The Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, is an island region in the South China sea that few countries recognize as a country. However, any mention of a list of top computing technology countries will simply be incomplete without it. This is due to the simple fact that Taiwan is home to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM). Commonly known as TSMC, the company is the backbone of the modern day semiconductor fabrication. Most of its facilities are located in Taiwan, and its 3-nanometer chip manufacturing technology is one of the most advanced technologies in the world – catching with the chip giant Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) which has dominated the industry for decades.
Taiwan also has other high end technology firms such as MediaTek Inc. (TPE:2454.TW) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (OTCMKTS:HNHPF) – with the latter being Apple’s primary manufacturing partner and being responsible for making the world’s iPhones. Taiwan had 4,216 patents to its name between 1999 and 2019.
Number of Computer Technology Patents Between 1999 and 2019: 7,175
Canada is a North American country that is rich in natural resources and one of the world’s few developed countries. Canada is also one of the world’s most scientifically advanced nations, which has an active space program and has contributed to the world with several different inventions such as the polio vaccine, insulin, batteries, stem cells, and even black holes. Some Canadian computer technology firms are The Descartes Systems Group Inc. (NASDAQ:DSGX), Constellation Software Inc. (OTCMKTS:CNSWF), and CGI Inc. (NYSE:GIB). Leading Canadian computer technology universities include the University of British Columbia, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Toronto. Canada won 7,175 patents between 1999 and 2019, making it the second largest in North America after the mighty U.S.
Number of Computer Technology Patents Between 1999 and 2019: 8,983
Japan is an Asian Island country with the world’s third largest economy in nominal terms despite having the 11th largest population. It is also one of the most scientifically advanced countries in the world, leading the world in robotics and research, with hundreds of thousands of researchers. It is also one of the world’s largest personal computing markets and sends astronauts regularly to the International Space Station (ISS). Japan also has some of the world’s leading computing firms such as Hitachi, Ltd. (OTCMKTS:HTHIY), Fujitsu Limited (OTCMKTS:FJTSY), and Toshiba Corporation (OTCMKTS:TOSBF). Its computer technology patents stood at 8,983 between 1999 and 2019.
6. French Republic
Number of Computer Technology Patents Between 1999 and 2019: 10,382
The French Republic is a prosperous European nation with a $3.6 trillion economy and a great power status in global politics. When it comes to computing technology, France first started using the Abacus in the 11th century. A stunning 70 French nationals have won the Nobel Prize, and it is also one of the few countries in the world with its own rocket lineup, nuclear power plants, nuclear submarines, and an aircraft carrier. Its patents were 10,382 between 1999 and 2019, the third highest in Europe.
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Disclosure: None. 12 Most Advanced Countries in Computer Technology is originally published on Insider Monkey.