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2013 HPC Server Market Growth Dips As Expected Following Record 2012, IDC Reports

Worldwide factory revenue for the high performance computing (HPC) technical server market declined -7.2% to $10.3 billion for the full year 2013, down from a record $11.1 billion in 2012, according to the newly released International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide High-Performance Technical Server QView. IDC had predicted the decline from the prior year, when several extremely large supercomputer sales propelled the high-end Supercomputers segment of the market to new heights. IDC expects the worldwide HPC server market to enjoy a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% over the 2013-2017 forecast period with revenues to exceed $14 billion in 2017.

The Supercomputers segment, for HPC systems that sell for $500,000 and up, declined -29.4% year over year to $4.0 billion, accounting for 38.8% of total HPC server revenue in 2013. A major component of the 2013 revenue came from very large systems sold by IBM, HP, and Cray. IDC expects this segment to resume growth in future years.

The sub-$500,000 segments experienced a second successive year of robust growth, continuing their rebound from the global economic recession.

  • The Divisional segment ($250,000–$499,000 price band) grew 11.4% year over year to reach $1.4 billion, or 13.2% of the total HPC server revenue for 2013.
  • The Departmental segment ($100,000–$250,000 price band) expanded by 12.9% to $3.4 billion, or 32.7% of total 2013 HPC server revenue.
  • The Workgroup segment, for HPC systems sold for less than $100,000, showed the strongest growth expanding 23.9% over 2012 to $1.6 billion, and representing 15.4% of all 2013 HPC server revenue.

"HPC servers 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, as well as businesses and universities of all sizes, are increasing their investments in high performance computing," said Earl Joseph, Program Vice President for Technical Computing at IDC.

Unit shipments in 2013 increased by 19% year over year, due to the continued rebound in the sub-$500,000 segments where the majority of all HPC server units are sold.

Vendor Highlights

  • HP led the market in 2013 with a 32.3% share of overall HPC server revenue, followed by IBM with 27.7%.
  • Cray had an exceptionally strong 2013, boosting revenue 23.4% over 2012.
  • Dawning's strong second-half performance led to 73.8% revenue growth over 2012.
  • The combined "Other" category exceeded $1 billion for the first time and was heavily driven by the acceptance of the Tianhe-2 system built by China's National University of Defense Technology (NUDT).

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, please contact Chirag Dekate at [email protected].

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

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

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