Worldwide factory revenue for the high performance computing (HPC)
technical server market increased by 7.7% year over year in 2012 to a
record $11.1 billion, up from $10.3 billion in 2011, according to the
newly released International Data Corporation (IDC)
High-Performance Technical Server QView. The 2012 results exceeded
IDC's forecast of 7.1% year-over-year revenue growth.
IBM led all vendors with a 32.0% share of overall factory revenue,
closely followed by HP with a 30.8% share. Dell once again was a strong
third-place finisher, capturing 13.5% of worldwide technical server
Unit shipments in 2012 declined 6.8% year over year as average-selling
prices grew, reflecting the continued shift to large system sales.
The brightest spot continued to be the high-end Supercomputers segment
for HPC systems, which sell for $500,000 and up. Revenue in this segment
jumped 29.3% over 2011 to $5.6 billion. The supercomputing segment
accounted for 50.9% of total technical server revenue for 2012. A major
component of this year's growth came from very large systems sold by
Fujitsu, IBM, HP, and Cray. A single Fujitsu supercomputer, the "K"
system installed at Japan's RIKEN, accounted for more than $500 million
of the total.
Growth in the Divisional segment ($250,000 to $499,000 price band)
dipped 2.2% from 2011 to finish 2012 at $1.2 billion. This segment
captured 10.9% of the total revenue for 2012.
After posting a record $3.5 billion year in 2011, the Departmental
segment ($100,000 - $250,000 price band) eased back in 2012 to $3.0
billion, still topping the 2009 mid-recession low point of $2.8 billion.
The 2012 figure accounted for 27% of all technical server revenue,
greater than the combined 2012 totals (22.1%) for the Divisional and
The Workgroup Segment (sub-$100,000 price band) modestly rebounded in
2012 to $1.24 billion, a 1.2% gain over the 2011 revenue total but still
far from the 2008 figure of $2.5 billion. Workgroup revenue was hit
especially hard by the global economic recession, as buyers delayed or
canceled some planned acquisitions in this segment that is characterized
by purchases based on shorter sales cycles and more discretionary
spending. Workgroup revenue has also been dampened a bit by the tendency
of workgroups within some organizations to pool their HPC budgets to
purchase larger, non-Workgroup HPC systems that are centrally managed
and shared. Despite these factors, IDC believes that Workgroup revenue
will continue to rebound slowly.
"HPC technical servers, especially Supercomputers, have been closely
linked not only to scientific advances but also to industrial innovation
and economic competitiveness. For this reason, nations and regions
across the world are increasing their investments in supercomputing even
in today's challenging economic conditions," said Earl
Joseph, Program Vice President for Technical
Computing at IDC.
Conway, Research Vice President for Technical
Computing, added that "2012 was an exceptionally strong revenue year
for the high-end Supercomputers segment, which grew 29.3% year over
year. IDC does not expect the high end of the market to continue growing
at a pace this swift."
IDC forecasts that the overall HPC technical server market will
experience a healthy 7.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the
2011—2016 forecast period, reaching revenues of more than $14 billion by
Additional Vendor Highlights
Fujitsu had an exceptionally strong year, partly due to the acceptance
of the "K" system in Japan, achieving a whopping 470.5% revenue gain
Cray revenue increased by a very strong 127.3%, driven by the
acceptance of several large systems. Additionally, Cray's fourth
quarter revenue showed a significant bump as IDC started reporting
unified revenue for Cray and Appro to reflect Cray’s acquisition and
integration of Appro's assets during the quarter.
High-Performance Technical Server QView presents the HPC market from
various perspectives, including by competitive segment, vendor, cluster
versus non-cluster, geography, and operating system. It also contains
detailed revenue and shipment information by HPC models.
For more information about the IDC Worldwide High Performance Technical
Server QView, please contact Chirag Dekate, Research Manager, Technical
Computing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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