December 07, 2007
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Dec. 4 -- 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."
The dramatic HPC market growth is being driven almost entirely by clusters and faster processor technologies. "Powered by their price/performance advantage, clusters now dominate all segments of the HPC market. In addition, the HPC market is seeing a shift towards fatter nodes as multicore technology becomes pervasive," said Jie Wu, research manager, Technical Computing Systems. "This is also driving the requirements for larger/faster memories and improved interconnection technologies."
Additional IDC HPC research findings include the following:
"IDC research is showing a strong influx of new HPC users in the workgroup segment and rapidly increasing demand for more processing power and storage capabilities across the whole HPC market," Joseph said. "Businesses of all sizes are finding HPC-based modeling and simulation indispensable for their ability to innovate, compete, and survive."
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 make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 900 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 90 countries worldwide. For more than 43 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 www.idc.com.
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