AI, Digital Twins, Real-time Compute Emerge as Top Technology Trends for 2023

  • Counterpoint believes that Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digital Twins and Edge Computing will emerge as top technology trends in 2023, affecting the whole tech industry.
  • Other trends that will be seeing lots of investments and progress include – Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain in IoT (ABIoT), Zero trust Architecture (ZTA) in Cybersecurity, West-China Technology Investments for Technology reshoring, eSIMs, XR and Sustainability

New Delhi, Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – February 26, 2023

We have entered 2023 at a time when geopolitical tensions are at their highest and markets are fragile due to macro factors, especially in the technology sector. Talks of recession, inflation, higher interest rates and declining consumer spending make it extremely judicious for businesses to invest in innovation.

With the report Technology Trends 2023 we aim to highlight the catalysts and trends that will influence technological developments and adoption in 2023. We have chosen trends that are at their inflection point in 2023 by observing a multitude of evidence available for these anchor technologies.

Counterpoint Research Technology Trends 2023


Commenting on the Technology Trends for 2023, Associate Director Mohit Agrawal commented, “We will be seeing a lot of proliferation of AI use cases across industries with the success that ChatGPT saw through its release; Conversational chatbots and text using generative AI are ready for prime time in 2023 followed by code writing early next year. Meanwhile, images, audio and videos may take another two to four years before they start to make a serious impact.”

“The magnitude with which we have seen companies launching AI-based solutions at Mobile World Congress (MWC), Barcelona 2023, from telecom to manufacturing, is immense. The solutions reflect the prevalence of AI in even the most basic of tasks to the most complex ones.”

Agarwal further added, “The confluence of AI and Blockchain in IoT would initiate the era of ABIoT. IoT plays a vital role in collecting data through sensors, facilitating two-way communication and enabling action. AI takes on the responsibility of ‘thinking’ by analyzing the large data sets generated by IoT and mimicking human-like intelligence. Meanwhile, blockchain ensures secure, immutable and transparent record-keeping to ‘enable transactions.’ When these three technologies are combined, they can create substantial value for any organization and enable new business models.”

Real-time computing is another trend that has seen lot of activity, on which Senior Analyst Akshara Bassi commented, “Real-time computing or Edge computing is becoming ubiquitous in 2023. End customers and companies are heavily using technologies that synthesize real-time data to deliver insights to help improve consumer experience with existing technology hardware and the efficiency of processes. The proliferation of IoT and 5G has accelerated the demand for compute at the Edge as reflected by the investments by Cloud players in real-time computing applications to the rise of Edge-based SaaS solutions.”

A trend summary for technologies that will course through 2023:

  • Dawn of AI, Blockchain and IoT (ABIoT): The AI, blockchain and IoT trinity is of immense significance in the world of technology. ABIoT uses blockchain, AI and IoT to enhance trust and security, test various usage-based business models and scale the deployment to an intelligent level that can glean insights to make operations efficient.
  • Rise of Digital Twins: In 2023, we are entering the era of Cognitive Digital Twins. These virtual replicas function autonomously and use AI for making decisions. These digital twins use AI to reflect and simulate assets, machines and processes in real time.
  • Cybersecurity – Zero Trust Architecture a Necessity: Cybersecurity has become more crucial than ever due to the rapid digital transformation taking place across industries and the transition to Web 3.0. The legacy security architecture, which is based on the defense-in-depth methodology is now lacking due to the presence of a true perimeter, making it inadequate. Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) is emerging as the solution to fill the gaps that the legacy architecture failed to cover.
  • Real-time Compute to Become Ubiquitous, Supported by Cloud Providers: Digital transformation has made the Cloud ubiquitous within a company’s IT infrastructure. But the implementation of 5G and the proliferation of IoT devices has necessitated Edge to become more intelligent and embrace an active compute role to deliver real-time data insights.
  • Generative AI to Make Big Leap Forward in 2023: The unprecedented success of ChatGPT has reignited interest in the cutting-edge field of generative AI. Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize content creation, affecting industries such as marketing, design, entertainment, software development and media organizations. On one hand, it democratizes content creation, yet on the other, it has the power to completely disrupt the current content creation landscape.
  • West-China Rivalry to Amplify in Technology Sector: There is a simmering rivalry between the West and China, especially in the technology industry, which is likely to amplify further in 2023 as the respective governments take decisive steps to deleverage. In October last year, the US announced curbs on technology exports intending to cut off Chinese companies from access to advanced semiconductors made anywhere in the world from US equipment or know-how.
  • eSIMs – Ready for Prime Time: 2022 was a landmark year for the eSIM ecosystem and eSIM is now rapidly moving towards becoming the preferred mode of cellular connectivity. More than 260 MNOs/MVNOs now support eSIM, and they support more than 35 consumer devices on an average. However, in 2023, we expect a significant increase in the adoption of eSIM technology, with an expected one in four IoT modules equipped with eSIM.
  • XR – Recalibration of Strategy, New Opportunities Emerge: Key players in the XR space are recalibrating their strategy in 2023 as consumers and enterprises await the promised XR experience. Recently, Qualcomm, Google and Samsung announced a partnership to work on a mixed reality (MR) platform by bringing together Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR Tech, Google’s expertise in experiences and Samsung’s product capabilities. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to launch its MR headset soon.
  • Sustainability – Technology Services Championing the Cause: Humanity continues consuming the Earth’s resources 1.75x faster than its capacity for biological replenishment. Consequently, companies are becoming conscious of their usage of resources and the efficiency of their business processes. Companies are using technology to achieve end-to-end visibility concerning all processes by sensing and tracking data at each touch point and possibly altering the process flow to achieve greater efficiencies and lower carbon footprint by using AI in conjunction with physical decision making.
  • IoT – Consolidation Expected to Accelerate: The IoT value chain is highly fragmented with over 4,000 players competing for a share of the market. This intense competition has led to a squeezed margin and has hindered the ability of players to expand into adjacent areas of the value chain. As economic conditions push investors to prioritize profitability, de-fragmentation through mergers and acquisitions would become all too common in 2023.

The comprehensive and in-depth “Technology Trends – 2023” report is available. Please contact Counterpoint Research to access the report.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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Analyst Contacts:

Mohit Agrawal
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Akshara Bassi
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Neil Shah
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POST EVENT COVERAGE: DAY 3 SNAPDRAGON TECH SUMMIT :: XR2 5G platform and always connected PC (ACPC)

Qualcomm made a lot of noise in the always-on-always connected (ACPC )PC space at the Snapdragon Summit Day 3 . The key selling points remain the same: LTE or 5G, multi-day battery life, Windows 10 support, enterprise-grade security, and AI accelerating the experiences.

New to space is Qualcomm now has three platforms which will help OEMs better differentiate their hardware and also hit a much larger range of price tiers.

The 7c compute platform is the entry of the three unveiled. It is built on the 8nm manufacturing process. The 7c should hit impressive price points as low as $300 and has the goal of the computing power of entry PCs. This is substantial price erosion and should be much more interesting for students or those on a tight budget than first-generation ACPCs.

In past years, gaming was not even mentioned. With the power and software improvements, light gaming is now supported. 4k HDR video capture @30 frames per second are also supported in the entry offer. The platform’s cellular connectivity supports Cat13 up to 150Mbps.

The 8c compute platform is built on 7nm process technology. Relative to the 7c, GPU and CPU are more powerful yet battery life is not negatively affected; 6+ trillion operations per second (TOPs) are supported. The chip is testing 30% faster than last year’s platform. Cellular connectivity supports Cat20 LTE, 256-QAM, 4x4MIMO, carrier aggregation (aka Gigabit LTE). The platform supports two 4k displays at 4k ultra HD. Qualcomm QuickCharge is also a feature. Prices of hardware with the 8c compute platform inside should be in the $500-$800 range.

The 8cx compute platform is the premium of AOAC PCs. It also has a Snapdragon X55 modem—meaning 5G is supported.8cx is the premium platform and hardware using the 8cx are expected to have a point-of-sale cost of $1000 and more. GPU and CPU performance is advertised as 60% more power-efficient than the Snapdragon 850.5G FDD, TDD, SA, NSAs, sub6, and mmWave is all supported. Or, as Qualcomm describes it, ‘real 5G’.

The sector should see growth with the new, lower price tiers. Look for more OEMs to be supporting AOAC PCs in 2020

Always connected PC

Qualcomm also launched the world’s first 5G XR platform during the annual Snapdragon tech summit, XR2. This is in addition to the XR1 platform which now has more than 30 devices in the market. The XR series are dedicated chips for eXtended Reality (XR) devices. These have had moderate success so far, mostly due to the limitations of the XR market, but true immersive experiences need a solid connectivity platform.

XR2 5G platform brings significant performance improvements over the XR1. These performance improvements include 2X the CPU and GPU performance, 4X more video bandwidth, 6X higher resolution and 11X AI improvements. Additionally, the Snapdragon XR2 platform is also the world’s first to support seven concurrent cameras and a dedicated computer vision processor. This opens up the possibilities of different use cases, especially in the enterprise segment. The XR2 supports high graphics rendering, support for 8K 360 degree videos at 60fps and a custom silicon built to reduce latencies for immersive visual experiences. In audio, XR2 offers voice activation and context detection for certain use cases

Overall Qualcomm, during the 2019 Snapdragon summit managed to unveil some powerful platforms. With 5G all set to penetrate faster in 2020, Qualcomm will be betting big on 865 and 765 platforms. Additionally, XR2 5G along with 7C, 8C, and 8CX opens up new opportunities in coming years

Qualcomm's Ecosystem Approach to Accelerate Augmented & Virtual Reality Adoption in Enterprise

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality or amalgamation of the two also known as Mixed Reality (MR) or Xtended Reality (XR) is the way we are going to communicate, collaborate, consume content and also, in many scenarios, create content. With every cellular generation, “G”, we have seen the change in how we interact/communicate with each other or create/consume content. From T9 keypads in 2G to  QWERTY and resistive touch in 3G to the touchscreen in 4G and now to XR gestures and voice with the onset of 5G.

In the consumer world, XR is already gaining popularity as one of the top initial 5G era use-cases from consuming 4K, 360 deg, multi-view live streaming VR/AR content to the real-time multiplayer cloud and spatial gaming. However, the opportunity for XR is bigger and broader in enterprises.  We have seen a lot of tethered AR/VR implementations in this decade. However, with the advent of technologies such as 5G, Wi-Fi 6 we are entering a new era of untethered XR experiences making it more useful beyond the four walls.

To drive untethered XR in enterprises, Qualcomm has launched its latest Qualcomm XR Enterprise Program, to bring together different XR solution providers like XR device manufacturers, XR software platform players, XR apps, content and services providers, and system integrators to help accelerate the XR adoption in enterprises. We have already seen in some verticals, such as Industrial, Retail, and others, that XR adoption is reaching a tipping point.

Qualcomm has roped in variety of XR companies specializing in multiple verticals and use-cases to collaborate and build solutions to avail multiple benefits which include:

  • Tighter Hardware-Software and Service Integration
  • Shared Collaborative Development, Insights 
  • Highly Optimized Workflows
  • Agreement on High Quality & Solution Excellence
  • Nicely tie into existing IoT solutions
  • Large Scale XR Deployments
  • Faster Time to Market
  • Lowering Total Cost of Ownership

Our research shows in enterprise space, the top use-cases for which enterprise XR adoption is rising is as follows:

  • Digital Twins: Overlaying the real-time telemetry data for machines, equipment, facilities, etc. on the physical world helps better decision making
  • Documentation: This is also one of the top use-cases, where the entire process is documented (e.g., manuals, workflows, etc.) visually which is great for training new employees realizing in hundreds of hours, thousands of dollars in savings for the organization
  • Upskilling & Training: This is the fastest-growing use-case in terms of XR adoption to remotely or in-person train, upskill employees effectively again immediate ROI for enterprises. Education vertical is another big opportunity for remotely train and upskill students quickly and efficiently.
  • Remote Assistance: This particular is among the main XR use-cases across enterprises for remotely assisting field workforce or first-line workers saving millions of dollars in lost time, travel, and other constraints. e.g., Xerox is seeing 76% technical problems resolved without any on-site help in Field Services Remote Assistance using AR Glasses
  • Business Development & Marketing: Companies such as Zerolight in collaboration with Pico are helping automotive OEMs for real-time visualizations to assist dealerships with sales and marketing through the entire buyer journey from engagement to selection to configuration to payment.
  • Healthcare: We are seeing XR is being used in the healthcare context from therapeutic use-cases to visual analytics of the patient’s health data to hands-free surgeries.

The lower latency, higher bandwidth promise of the 5G era alongside significant developments in Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) and technologies such as Boundless XR will further drive adoption from form-factor, user experience, and battery-life perspective to have more meaningful, useful and untethered XR experiences in enterprises. Initiatives such as Qualcomm XR Enterprise program will further catalyze this adoption in the 5G era.

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