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", stated 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 include: