HPC market data from IDC

As reported on HPCWire.
Major features:

  • Server portion of the market is $11.6B growing 15.5% CAGR
  • Over 5 years (2002-2007) the HPC server market has grown 134%, and is projected to reach $15B by 2011

What is interesting is that some of the markets grew in different ways than in the past.

  • The larger systems (>$500k) grew
    at 24% year-over-year to $3.2B.
  • Divisional systems ($250-499k) grew 19% to $1.7B
  • Departmental system ($100-249k) grew at 23% to $4.1B
  • Workgroup systems (<$100k) servers declined 3.3% to $2.7B

Ok, what is interesting about this is that this is by revenue, not by volume. So with the significant price drops in RAM seen over the last year, quite a few divisional systems may have become “departmental” simply due to price reductions in some of the components. Similarly, the unit volumes shipped weren’t indicated in this article. Which means that for the workgroup systems, they could have actually increased in number, at a lower asking price (and thus lower in overall revenue) as a result of the reduction in price.
IDC is also alluding to something we have seen in market. HPC is becoming pervasive, part of many workflows, and integral parts of processes. And it is being more accesslible for end users.
For the low end of the market, a 32 GB machine with 4 processor cores would cost 12-13k$ last year. This year, a bit less than that (about 60% of that price) due to memory prices dropping. Now imagine a 40% price reduction, and 37% more unit volume. Yes, that is a 3% decline in revenue. This is in line with what we are seeing. I would like to see if IDC has unit volume data. That would be interesting.