High end supercomputer sales shine; HPC Q2 revenue flat

High performance computing buyers continue to gravitate toward large scale systems. Systems going for $500,000 and up saw sequential revenue surge in the second quarter.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

The revenue picture for high performance computing gear was mixed for the second quarter, but sales for systems selling for $500,000 and up surged, according to IDC.

IDC reported that high performance computing (HPC) revenue for the second quarter was down 0.9 percent from a year ago to $2.4 billion. IDC, however, is maintaining that HPC revenue will grow 7.1 percent for 2012 to hit $11 billion.

The market for technical servers and high performance is split among high-end and low-end systems. Units in the second quarter were 22,998, down 21 percent from a year ago. But average selling prices surged, according to IDC.

Bottom line: HPC buyers are gravitating to large systems and have been for years.


This move toward larger systems has helped IBM in the vendor standings. IDC data reveals the following market share for the second quarter.

  • IBM had 32.7 percent of the HPC market. 
  • HP had 29.8 percent. 
  • Dell had 14.2 percent of revenue. 
  • "Other" comprises the remainder of the market share pie. IDC noted Cray, Fujitsu and SGI showed revenue gains as did Chinese players such as Inspur and Dawning.

As a result, supercomputers that sell for $500,000 and up saw revenue jump 21.8 percent in the second quarter relative to the first. Workgroup HPC systems, which go for less than $100,000, fell 13.9 percent sequentially and 20.3 percent from a year ago.

High-end supercomputers account for 48.6 percent of the HPC market with divisional systems---$250,000 to $499,000---comprising 13.4 percent of second quarter sales. Departmental HPC systems---$100,000 to $249,000---were 27.5 percent of second quarter revenue with the workgroup category accounting for 10.6 percent.

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