OMG, $3 million computer market exploding

Posted by Emory Kale

Some day, somewhere, someone will buy today's $3 million supercomputer for $19.95 and wear it on their wrist. In the meantime, we dazzle ourselves with IDC's HPC market research.

According to the supercomputer counters at Interational Data Corporation (IDC), 2009 was a bright spot for high performance computing (HPC), especially for "supercomputers" priced $500,000 and up. The market for those suckers grew by 25% tp reach $3.4 billion. But, HPC systems priced above $3 million did even better: they reached $1 billion and had 65% growth.

Overall, though, the market for technical servers went down by 11.6% in 2009, and total $8.6 billion. See, every time you think things are getting better,  they get worse. What is up with the world, dude?!

"IDC expects the HPC technical server market to begin recovering from the impact of the global economic recession in early-2010, with year-over-year growth projected at 5% to 7%. And just as the recession affected HPC market segments unequally, so too will the recovery," said Earl Joseph, program vice president for HPC. "Many firms have been so battered that they will maintain capex restrictions even in mission-critical areas such as HPC."

"On the other hand, HPC is such an entrenched part of the R&D process in leading oil and gas companies, in government, and in some entertainment and consumer product firms, that budget cuts during the recession have been rare and HPC growth plans are already in place," said Jie Wu, research director for Technical Computing. "Government and university spending, which together make up about 65% of all HPC server revenue, declined less than the overall market in 2009 and with some help from the U.S. Government stimulus funding should remain another bright spot during the recovery."

Unfortunately, Ms. Pacman HPC was a total bust. Okay, I made that last bit up because, I am mispacogynist.

Below is Worldwide Technical Computing Hardware Server, 2009 Top 5 Vendor Revenue and Market Share (revenues in millions), courtesy of IDC.