Low-end systems saved HPC market in Q2

Investments have shifted from supercomputers to sub-$250,000 systems, IDC said

Increasing sales of cheaper systems helped fuel growth in the high-performance computing (HPC) sector during the second quarter, while interest in high-end supercomputers cooled.

The total worldwide revenue for the HPC server market jumped by 7.9 percent to nearly US$2.6 billion in the second quarter, up from $2.4 billion in the same period last year, IDC said on Wednesday.

Much of that growth was due the low-end segment of the HPC market, which IDC defines as systems sold for under $250,000. This segment was hit especially hard by the global economic recession that began in 2008, as many purchases were postponed or canceled. But buying began to recover in the first three months of the year and continued during the second quarter, according to IDC.

The brightest spot was systems selling for less than $100,000. Revenue in this segment grew by 45.1 percent year on year to reach $414.7 million, according to IDC. Systems priced from $100,000 to $249,000 grew by 33.8 percent to $928.3 million. These systems are used for high-performance data analysis in areas such as bio-life sciences, IDC said.

On the other hand, systems selling for more that $500,000 didn't do as well. Second quarter revenue dropped to $883.2 million from $1.17 billion a year earlier.

That stands in stark contrast with last year when sales of high-end HPC systems were doing well and revenue grew by 29.3 percent over 2011 to $5.6 billion, after the race for having the world's most powerful supercomputer became a national concern. A major component of the increase was very large systems sold by Fujitsu, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Cray.

A single Fujitsu supercomputer, the "K" system installed at Japan's Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science, accounted for more than $500 million of the total, according to IDC. When the latest list of the world's 500 most powerful systems was published in June, Riken was ranked fourth -- trailing the Chinese Tianhe-2 and two U.S. systems, the Titan and the Sequoia.

IDC said earlier that it didn't expect the supercomputer segment to maintain last year's steep growth, although there will be other growth periods in the future and the global race for leadership in the petascale and exascale era will heat up during the rest of the decade.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags supercomputersClustersIDCHigh performancehardware systems

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?