Hyperion Research issues statement on COVID-19's impact on the global HPC market


18 Mar 2020 St. Paul - Because the trajectory and current extent of COVID-19 are unclear and hard to predict, Hyperion Research believes it is too soon to accurately quantify the impact of the virus on the worldwide HPC market. Based on developments to date and discussions with HPC vendors around the globe, however, Hyperion Research believes several impacts are likely.

Hyperion Research Statement on COVID-19's Impact on the Global HPC Market

  • Delayed product shipments.HPC vendors report that worker illnesses and related precautions have reduced output and temporarily shut down some factories at HPC component suppliers, especially in China. HPC vendors whose global supply chains have been constricted will likely need to delay product shipments or resort to partial shipments if they exhaust existing parts inventories. To the extent that HPC vendors close or limit access to their own facilities, this impact will be magnified.
  • Delayed revenues.Delayed product shipments will result in delayed revenues. However, most vendors expect customers to spend their annual HPC budgets once the COVID-19 threat subsides. Accordingly, Hyperion Research expects worldwide HPC server revenues to be lower than our earlier projections in 2020 calendar-year Q1 and Q2, and likely to be higher than our earlier projections after the COVID-19 threat subsides, but there is still great uncertainty in any forecasts at this time.
  • Delayed orders.Vendors' inability to meet customers and prospects in person or to attend sales-supporting conferences and industry meetings will likely reduce the new business pipeline temporarily. This will contribute to near-term delayed revenues and higher-than-projected revenues after the COVID-19 threat subsides.
  • Delayed product development.Supply chain disruptions and limited access by vendors' innovation teams to their worksites will likely also delay the availability of some products still under development, although virtual team meetings will likely fill in part of the gap.
  • New HPC demand to combat COVID-19.Many vendors report unanticipated demand for HPC capacity from government and academic scientists conducting research on COVID-19. In some cases, vendors describe this demand as "substantial", but it generally involves access to existing HPC systems rather than orders for new ones.
  • Hopeful sign.Some media sources indicate that outside of Wuhan, where COVID-19 had the earliest large-scale impacts, employees are starting to return to work in China. If true, it would be a positive sign that measures to control COVID-19 can be effective.

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