IDC Reports Modest Second-Quarter Decline in Worldwide Market for HPC Technical Servers

SEATTLE — (BUSINESS WIRE) — September 18, 2014 — Worldwide factory revenue for the high performance computing (HPC) technical server market declined modestly year over year by -2.6% to $2.45 billion in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14), down from $2.51 billion in the same period of 2013, according to the newly released International Data Corporation ( IDC) Worldwide High-Performance Technical Server QView. The results were announced at the 54th meeting of the IDC-operated HPC User Forum in Seattle, where attendees heard talks on high performance computing and data analysis markets and emerging trends in accelerators and co-processors.

The modest second quarter decline was due to the relatively low supercomputer sales in 2Q14. The second quarter market dynamics were driven by the continued recovery of the bottom half of the HPC market, consisting of systems sold for under $250,000. Systems at these price points were hit especially hard by the global economic recession that began in 2008, as many of these discretionary purchases were postponed or canceled. These sales began to recover in first quarter of 2013.

The brightest spot in 2Q14 was the divisional segment for HPC systems selling for between $250,000 and $499,000. Revenue in this segment jumped 11.3% year over year to $388.7 million. The departmental segment for systems priced from $100,000 to $249,000 expanded by 0.9% year over year in the second quarter to $892.2 million. Together, the workgroup and departmental segments made up 54.5% of all HPC server systems revenue in the quarter. IDC has continued its practice of corroborating the recovery trend in the lower half of the market by conducting several thousand survey calls with HPC buyers and end users.

In the second quarter, the high-end supercomputers segment for systems sold for $500,000 and up accounted for 29.7% of the overall market, or $725.1 million. The divisional segment ($250,000 to $499,000 price band) represented 15.9% of total HPC systems revenue, or $388.7 million, an 11.3% increase over the second quarter of 2013. Shipments increased 6.6% year over year to 33,277 units, reflecting the growth of lower-priced systems that sell in higher volume than large supercomputers. Unit sales declined slightly (-0.9%) compared to the first quarter of 2014.

"The top half of the HPC market, especially supercomputer systems sold for $500,000 and up, expanded rapidly right through the global economic recession and experienced record-setting growth in 2012. We said earlier that we did not expect the supercomputers segment to maintain that steep growth curve in 2013, although there will be other growth periods in the future," said Earl Joseph, IDC Program Vice President for Technical Computing. "In the first and second quarters of 2014, revenue growth has shifted to sub-$250,000 systems as the lower half of the market continues to rebound from the global economic recession."

Vendor Highlights

  • HP and IBM remained the worldwide market leaders, capturing 32.4% and 24.6% of overall revenue share, respectively.
  • Dell maintained its strong third place position with 16.3% of global revenue.
  • NEC, Bull, Dawning, and SGI all made strong year-over year revenue gains during the second quarter of 2014, driven by the acceptance of large systems. Several vendors in the combined "others" category saw significant regional sales, including China's Inspur, driving up the quarterly growth of the "others" category by 12.8%.

The IDC Worldwide 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, contact Chirag Dekate at cdekate@idc.com.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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