HPC Server Market Delivers Record Revenues and 7.7% Growth in 2012, IDC Reports

Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:58pm EDT

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FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(Business Wire)--
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) Worldwide High-Performance Technical Server
QView. The 2012 results exceeded IDC's forecast of 7.1% year-over-year revenue

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 revenue. 

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 Workgroup segments. 

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. 

Steve 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 2015. 

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 over 2011. 
* 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

The 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, please contact Chirag Dekate, Research Manager, Technical Computing, at

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. For more than 49 years, IDC has
provided strategic insights to help our 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

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of
their respective holders.

Earl Joseph, 612-812-5798
Steve Conway, 612-381-6939
Chirag Dekate, 508-395-8391
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200

Copyright Business Wire 2013