(By Balachander) Research firm IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS) expects shipments of micro servers to more than triple this year, spurred by "booming" demand for new data center services for mobile platforms and cloud computing.
The information and analytics company projects shipments of micro servers to reach 291,000 units from 88,000 units in 2012.
IHS said it expects the machines to claim a penetration rate of more than 10 percent by 2016 — a stunning fiftyfold jump from a negligible 0.2 percent in 2011.
The compound annual growth rate for micro servers from 2011 to 2016 stands at a remarkable 130 percent, IHS said.
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IHS expects shipments to rise to some 1.2 million units by the end of 2016. IHS noted that shipments of micro servers began with just 19,000 units in 2011.
"Micro servers provide a solution to the challenge of increasing data-center usage driven by mobile platforms," said Peter Lin, senior analyst for compute platforms at IHS.
IHS expects a slew of hardware providers to reap benefits, including microprocessor vendors like Intel (INTC), ARM and AMD (AMD); server original equipment manufacturers such as Dell (DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).
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Intel first launched the micro server concept and reference design in 2009, ostensibly to block rival ARM from entering the field, IHS said.
ARM, however, is gaining greater support from software and OS vendors, which could potentially put pressure on Intel in the coming years, the firm noted.