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IDC: HPC Server Market Grows

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- Thanks to starting prices as low as $10,000 and evolving R&D practices, high performance computing (HPC) systems formerly called supercomputers – have become far more pervasive in government, industry, and academia. According to IDC, factory revenue for the HPC market grew 8.8% quarter over quarter and a full 18% compared to the same period last year, to reach $3.0 billion in the third quarter (3Q07). The worldwide server market, of which HPC servers are a part, grew 0.5% to reach $13.1 billion in 3Q07.

Third-quarter 2007 shipments of processor packages in the HPC market totaled 1.3 million, up 26% from the second quarter. In 2006, HPC systems accounted for 26% of all processors sold in the server market, more than doubling the 2003 HPC share of about 12%.

"The rapid growth of HPC server revenue and processor counts since 2002 fits the classic profile of a disruptive technology," said Vernon Turner, senior vice president of IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer, and Telecom research. "A major HPC growth driver has been lower entry prices that make HPC systems affordable for smaller organizations and business units. Another driver is changing R&D practices, including dramatic increases in the cost of live experiments compared to computer modeling and simulation, and the growth of computation-intensive interdisciplinary research methods."

"On the processor front, the growth has been extreme with over 1.3 million processor packages sold into the HPC market in 3Q07, this represents a 59% growth in processors shipped from the same quarter last year", according to Dr. Earl Joseph, program vice president, High Performance Computing. "High performance computing is creating a sea change in scientific/engineering R&D, which is fueling the market growth. IDC projects that HPC server market growth will exceed $15 billion by 2011."