IDC Maintains HPC Server Revenue Forecast of 7% Growth Despite Flat Second Quarter

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., September 4, 2012 – Worldwide factory revenue for the high performance computing (HPC) technical server market remained essentially flat year over year in the second quarter of 2012 (2Q12). Revenue in the second quarter dipped slightly (-0.9%) to $2.4 billion, down from $2.5 billion in the same period of 2011, according to the newly released International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide High-Performance Technical Server QView.

IDC maintains its previous forecast that, for the full year 2012, HPC technical server market revenues will expand by 7.1% year over year to reach $11 billion, surpassing the record-breaking revenues of $10.3 billion in 2011.

Unit shipments of 22,998 in 2Q12 declined by more than 21% compared to the second quarter of 2011 and 20% over the fourth quarter of 2011, as average selling prices continued to grow during an ongoing, multi-year shift to large system sales.

The brightest spot continued to be the high-end Supercomputers segment for HPC systems sold for $500,000 and up. Revenue in this segment jumped 21.8% over 1Q12 to reach $1.17 billion. At the other end of the price spectrum, revenue from Workgroup HPC systems sold for below $100,000 fell 13.9% from the first quarter of 2012, and declined by 20.3% year over year.

The high-end Supercomputers segment accounted for 48.6% of worldwide HPC technical server revenue in 2Q12, while the Divisional segment ($250,000 to $499,000 price band) captured 13.4% of revenue. The Departmental segment ($100,000 to $249,000 price band) made up 27.5% of revenue, and the Workgroup segment contributed 10.6%.

During the first half of 2012, the HPC technical server market declined by 1%, with a decline of 11% in unit shipments, compared to the same period in 2011. The high-end Supercomputers segment experienced a half yearly growth in 2012 of 11.7% over the same period 2011. Revenue for Workgroup HPC systems experienced a decline of 12.5% in the first half of 2012 when compared to the first half of 2011.

"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. "We expect the global race for HPC leadership in the petascale-exascale era to continue heating up during this decade."

IDC expects the HPC technical server market to grow at a healthy 7.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the five-year forecast to reach revenues of $14 billion by 2016.

Vendor Highlights for Second-Quarter 2012

IBM and HP remained in close contention for worldwide market leadership by capturing 32.7% and 29.8% of overall revenue share, respectively.

Dell maintained its strong third-place position with 14.2% of global revenue.

Cray (+43.7%), Fujitsu (+33.5%), and SGI (+10.3%) all made strong year-over year revenue gains during the second quarter of 2012, driven by the acceptance of large systems. Several vendors in the combined "other" category saw significant regional sales including China’s Inspur, driving the quarterly growth by 22.5% China's Dawning showed continued momentum at a more moderate pace (1.9%).

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

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 48 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