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HPC Clusters Gain Momentum across all HPC Segments

By DE Editors

According to a recently published report by IDC (Framingham, MA), the high-performance computing (HPC) server market averaged 20 percent per year over last four years, with 2006 market sector growth documented in industry (39%), government (34%), and academia (27%).

IDC’s research found that biosciences, geosciences (oil and gas), computer-aided engineering (CAE), electronic data automation (EDA), defense, and university research are the fast-growing vertical segments.

"High performance computing is creating a sea change in scientific/engineering R&D, which is fueling the market growth," said Dr. Earl Joseph, program vice president, High Performance Computing at IDC. "IDC projects that the HPC server market growth will exceed $15 billion by 2011."

IDC attributes the growth to HPC system starting prices as low as $10,000 and evolving R&D practices, enabling revenue from clusters to reach 68 percent of the overall HPC server revenue for the third quarter of 2007. Compared to the same quarter in 2006, cluster revenue has grown 40 percent. In the early ’90s a typical full-size supercomputer cost $25 million; today, a sizeable and robust HPC cluster can be purchased for less than $100,000.

For many engineering and scientific studies it has become far cheaper and faster to use computer simulation, states the release, instead of more costly physical experiments. Competitive pressures are pushing many R&D groups to complete their research in a greatly shorter time frame.

"Businesses of all sizes are finding HPC-based modeling and simulation indispensable for their ability to innovate, compete, and survive," added Joseph, with the fastest-growing area in the workgroup segment for systems priced under $50,000, which is projected to have 11.4 percent compound annual growth rate through 2011.

In 2006, HPC server revenue surpassed $10 billion. IDC values the broader HPC market, including servers (63%), storage (24%) and services (13%), at $16.3 billion in 2006.

For details, go to by IDC.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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