IDC: HPC server market sees first quarter growth

IDC says the high-performance computing market is on the up. HP and IBM continue their market leader race with 59 percent of the market, but Cray showed the most growth year-on year.

Good news from the high-performance computing (HPC) sector: things are on the up.

Research firm IDC said on Friday the HPC technical server market increased by more than 3 percent over the first-quarter to reach $2.4 billion --- up from $2.3 billion on the same quarter a year ago.

IDC said it would not revise its previous forecast on the full-year 2012 that the HPC technical server market will expand to more than 7 percent on revenues of $11 billion. This marks a $700 million increase on 2011.

However, unit shipments fell by 0.5 percent compared to the first-quarter 2011.

Workgroup HPC systems --- those that sell for less than $100,000 --- fell by 4.6 percent year on year, but rose by 5 percent in the fourth-quarter 2011.

On the other hand, supercomputers --- defined by their $500,000 and upwards price tag --- helped along a $976 million revenue jump in 2011.

Supercomputers, while not limited to sci-fi films, have been linked to scientific breakthroughs and industrial competitiveness. It should come as no surprise that to get ahead of rivals, many are investing in supercomputers to lead innovation. Plus, nation states are taking a shine to these high-end systems in a bid to figure out worldwide economic conditions --- particularly why they have no money left. Go figure.

IDC said it could see the HPC technical server market grow at a "healthy" rate of 7.3 percent by 2016, reaching revenues of $14 billion.

On the industry front, HP and IBM continue their close-call race for worldwide market leadership, taking 30.5 and 29 percent revenue share respectively.

Also, Dell took the third place spot with 16 percent in global revenue. Cray boosted its year-on-year revenue by a whopping 475 percent, Fujitsu by 162 percent, and SGI by 88 percent.