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High-Performance Computing Holds Steady Following Recovery Year, Growth Expected Through 2018

High-performance computing systems held steady in the first quarter of 2014. While the trend toward cheaper systems caused a substantial decline in factory revenues for manufacturers, the short- and mid-term outlook calls for substantial growth, even in high-end systems.

According to a new report from market research firm IDC, 33,577 HPC systems shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2014, up 0.4 percent from the same period in 2013. That represented factory revenues of $2.3 billion, down 9.6 percent from first quarter 2013.

HP was the leading manufacturer, accounting for 35 percent of the HPC market (based on revenues). IBM came in second with 23.1 percent of the market. And Dell, which saw 8.5 percent growth in the period, rounded out the top 3, finishing the quarter with a 17.2 percent market share.

High-end supercomputers plummeted by double digits, falling 32.7 percent from Q1 2013 to $580 million in Q1 2014. IDC reported, however, that segment will see modest growth for the rest of this year and should see substantial compound annual growth of 7.2 percent through 2018.

On the lower end of the spectrum, systems running $250,000 to $499,000 saw a 2.6 percent decline in revenues in Q1 2014; systems running $100,000 to $249,000 remained essentially flat, gaining 0.6 percent; and systems priced below $100,000 grew 11.4 percent.

"HPC technical server revenues are expected to grow at a healthy rate because of the crucial role they play in economic competitiveness as well as scientific progress," said Earl Joseph, program vice president for technical computing at IDC. "As the global race toward exascale computing fuels the high end of the market, more small and medium-sized businesses and research organizations are exploiting HPC servers for advanced simulations and high performance data analysis."

IDC said overall annual HPC revenues should hit $14.7 billion by 2018, representing 7.4 percent annual growth.

Further details can be found in IDC's Worldwide High-Performance Technical Server QView.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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