2021 Global High-Performance Computing Output Valued at US$36.8 Billion, US Accounts for 48% as the Largest Market

According to TrendForce research, the global high-performance computing market reached approximately US$36.8 billion in 2021, growing 7.1% compared to 2020. The United States is still the largest market for high-performance computing in the world with an approximate 48% share, followed by China and Europe, with a combined share of approximately 35%. Segregated into application markets, high-performance computing is most widely used in scientific research, national defense/government affairs, and commercial applications, with market shares of 15%, 25%, and 50%, respectively. In terms of product type, software (including services) and hardware account for 58% and 42% of the market, respectively.

Since high-performance computing can support data analysis, machine learning (ML), network security, scientific research, etc., it plays a key role in military fields such as nuclear warhead design and missile explosion simulations. Therefore, there are relatively few players occupying key positions in the value chain. Primary suppliers are Fujitsu, HPE, Lenovo, and IBM. These four manufacturers account for a market share of approximately 73.5% globally.

In addition, the continuous development of smart cities, smart transportation, self-driving cars, the metaverse, and space exploration and travel programs launched by Space X, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic will increase the demand for high-performance computing focused on R&D and testing along the two major axes of simulation and big data processing and analysis. The global high-performance computing market is expected to reach US$39.7 billion in 2022, with a growth rate of 7.3%. The CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of the global high-performance computing market from 2022 to 2027 will be 7.4%.

In view of this, the global high-performance computing market is growing steadily but not by much. The reason is that many of the aforementioned commercial application terminals are still in the growth stage, so high-performance computing technologies and solutions adopted by cloud service providers are limited to local deployment This enables HPC servers to scale on-premises or in the cloud and provides dedicated storage systems and software to drive innovation, thereby accelerating the development of hybrid HPC solutions.

In terms of end-use, the high-performance computing market is segmented into BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance), manufacturing, healthcare, retail, transportation, gaming, entertainment media, education & research, and government & defense. High-performance computing’s highest revenue share was derived from the government and defense market in 2021, primarily due to related agencies actively adopting cutting-edge and advanced IT solutions to improve computing efficiency. At present, government agencies in the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, as well as European countries have successively adopted high-performance computing systems to support digitization projects and contribute to economic development. Therefore, in 2021, the global scale of the on-premise high-performance computing server market was US$14.8 billion, of which Supercomputer, Divisional, Departmental, and Workgroup accounted for 46.6%, 18.9%, 25%, and 9.5% of the market, respectively. The global on-premise high-performance computing server market in 2022 is expected to reach US$16.7 billion with Supercomputer and Divisional growing by 11.5% and 15.2% compared with 2021.

(Image credit: Pixabay)


Server Shipments Forecast to Increase 4~5% YoY in 2022 Driven by North American Data Center Demand, Says TrendForce

The new normal ushered in by the pandemic will not only become the driving force of digital transformation but will also continue to drive the server market in 2022, according to TrendForce’s investigations. It is worth noting that potential unmet demand in 2021 and the risk of future server component shortages will become medium and long-term variables that influence the market. Analyzing the shipment volume of completed servers, a growth rate of approximately 4-5% in completed server shipments is expected next year with primary shipment dynamics remaining concentrated in North American data centers with an annual growth rate of approximately 13-14%. From the supply chain perspective, the ODM Direct business model has gradually replaced the business model of the traditional server market, giving cloud service providers the ability to respond quickly to market changes. However, based on the unpredictability of the market, TrendForce assumes two forecasts for server growth trends. One, the supply situation of key components is effectively improved. Two, the supply situation of key components is exacerbated.

TrendForce states, based on the current situation as materials issues ease quarter by quarter, the annual growth rate of server shipments in 2022 will reach 4~5%. There are three primary factors driving market momentum. First, the introduction of the Intel Sapphire Rapids and AMD Genoa platforms into the market may once again stimulate the replacement of enterprise client servers and infrastructure construction in data centers. Second, the market generally believes that transformational needs generated by the pandemic in 2022, such as shifts in working paradigms and the new normal, will continue to drive the cloud market. Furthermore, international tensions have led to geopolitical uncertainty, which in turn has encouraged countries to tighten their control over data sovereignty and prompting the emergence of small-scale data centers in specific geographic locations.

Actual shipment volume of completed servers in 2022 depends on improvement of supply chain issues

Based on the two aforementioned assumptions, if the pandemic is effectively controlled next year, and international logistics, satisfaction of materials demand, and other factors either return to normal or fare better than expected, server companies will be able to increase their shipping capabilities and the annual growth rate of shipments in the overall server market will be able to reach 5-6% while the annual growth rate of ODM-Direct will approach 15%, up from the original forecast 13%. However, if the pandemic intensifies next year, the overall global economy will continue under that dark cloud which will greatly affect the willingness of companies to invest. In that case, the estimated annual growth rate of server shipments will fall to only 3-4%. In addition, the growth momentum of North American data centers will also be affected leading to an annual growth rate of ODM-Direct of only 10%, approximately.

As a whole and continuing under the influence of the two-year pandemic, the business trend of flexible deployment is irreversible. Regardless of overall economic changes, TrendForce expects double-digit growth in the demand for ODM-direct servers next year while overall server demand will also maintain a positive growth trajectory. However, continued attention should be focused on issues related to server order fulfillment in the broader market, including the fulfillment rate of key PMIC and LAN chip materials. At the same time, another major market variable will be whether Intel and AMD can introduce their two new platforms as scheduled next year and inject additional momentum into equipment replacement.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms. Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforce.com


What changes does the development of data centers worldwide in recent years entail as CSPs rush to compete in the cloud business?

In light of rapid advancements in 5G, AI, cloud computing, and cloud services, TrendForce has observed that, since 2012, the widespread adoption of smartphones has brought about the emergence of certain new applications such as smartphone apps that leverage backend server support. Furthermore, enterprise cloud migration has noticeably accelerated after digital transformation activities began taking place in 2016. As a result, widespread data center deployments took center stage as the industry mainstream prior to 2020.

Moving into 2021, however, one of the many impacts of 5G commercialization on the market has to do with the regional deployment of infrastructures (i.e., small-scale data centers). This trend towards local deployment can be primarily attributed to the increasing stringency of personal data protection laws by governments worldwide that emphasize both the residency and the sovereignty of consumer data. Major public cloud companies are now beginning to establish cloud deployments closer to regions that represent sources of data generation, in order to deliver faster data analysis that is still in accordance with the law.

TrendForce’s observations on the build-out of data centers can be divided into the individual and enterprise aspects. With regards to the former, as connected devices become increasingly widespread and emerging content services more popular in the post-pandemic stay-at-home economy, consumer spending on streaming videos and online shopping began to experience a rapid spike, thereby contributing to a gradual increase in server build-outs for cloud services. Enterprises, on the other hand, have been seeking and deploying more flexible infrastructures in response to pandemic-induced uncertainties. Hence, certainly subscription services and hybrid cloud services have also been gaining momentum in the ongoing trend of cloud migration.

It should be noted that, due to recent geopolitical tensions, which intimately dictate the development of various countries’ industries and supply chains, global enterprises also face rapidly changing market needs as well as a high degree of uncertainties stemming from the pandemic. In turn, enterprise demand for cloud services has also seen a continued rise in the past two years. With respect to the adoption of AI and other emerging technologies, most enterprises prefer cloud services due to such services’ flexible cost structures. TrendForce’s latest investigations indicate that flexible pricing strategies and diverse services offered by data centers have directly propelled the demand from enterprises for cloud applications in the past two years. From the perspective of the server supply chain, these shifts have facilitated a gradual shift of the predominant business model in the server market from traditional server brands to ODM Direct.

In addition, data center-related technologies have also progressed significantly. As the way people work and live transforms, accompanied by the emergence of e-commerce and streaming media, enterprises have also become increasingly well-versed in cloud services and increasingly able to leverage related technologies. As such, the primary sources of competition in the cloud market will include not only infrastructures responsible for computing, storage, and networking, but also emerging technologies such as edge computing and software/hardware integration of related services by major operators. In particular, as 5G services successively kick into gear worldwide, the concept of “cloud-edge-local network” will begin to replace the current “cloud only” framework on a massive scale, thereby extending the relevant commercial opportunities from cloud services to hardware vendors. That is to say, in the future, cloud services will no longer be limited to the software front, as in-house hardware brands from CSPs are set to become the next battlefield while these companies compete to offer comprehensive services.

All of this raises the question of whether the build-out of data centers will involve more challenges and opportunities going forward. TrendForce believes that, in addition to factors such as telecommuting and e-commerce, data center demand from biomedical applications (for instance, the ramp-up of vaccinations) will also experience substantial growth, with the caveat that regulations governing the protection and collection of medical data will be even more stringent than those driving various countries’ data sovereignty endeavors. Hence, privacy and security pertaining to medical data will likely become not only a global pursuit, but also a significant challenge facing the application of data centers.

(Image credit: Unsplash)


Server DRAM Prices Expected to Rise by 5-10% QoQ in 3Q21 Due to Peak Season, Says TrendForce

Suppliers and clients in the server DRAM market are still having difficulty in reaching agreements on prices for 3Q21 contracts even though the quarter is well underway, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Hence, server DRAM contract prices are much more varied than before. Regarding the price trend in July, contract quotes for the mainstream 32GB RDIMMs rose by 5-7% MoM.

However, the price hikes have led to a reduction in demand, and there are indications that server DRAM sales bits will register some decline for 3Q21. The release of server CPUs based on the new platforms is driving the procurement of higher-density 64GB RDIMMs, but this has not resulted in a significant corresponding increase in content per unit. The general trend for buyers is to replace two 32GB modules with one 64GB module, rather than a one-to-one replacement as DRAM suppliers previously expected. Contract prices of 64GB RDIMMs rose by 5-7% MoM for July, though prices were below this range for some transactions.

TrendForce’s analysis shows that server DRAM suppliers and buyers are finding it difficult to reach a consensus on prices because DRAM suppliers expect that the demand for server DRAM modules is going to surge in 3Q21 as the third quarter is the traditional peak season for the server market. As well, suppliers also anticipate that the adoption of new server processor platforms will increase the memory content in servers.

With a more optimistic demand outlook, suppliers have adjusted their product mixes to allocate more of their production capacity to server DRAM. Hence, the supply fulfillment rate has risen significantly in the server DRAM market in 3Q21. Server DRAM buyers, on the other hand, already have a high level of inventory. Clients in the data center segment were aggressively stockpiling during the first half of this year due to worries about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the supply chain. They now need some time to consume their inventories and are reluctant to procure more DRAM modules.

Contract prices will be constrained to rise further in 4Q21 as demand side has turned conservative

Currently, enterprise server OEMs in North America have finished arranging their quarterly contracts, whereas numerous cloud service providers and Chinese enterprise server OEMs are still in the midst of negotiations. TrendForce believes that, in order to reach their targets for sales and shipments, server DRAM suppliers may be willing to cut more “special deals” for server DRAM products in August. Specifically, suppliers will push for lock-in contracts that offer adjustable prices for fixed quantities.

On the whole, the general behaviors of DRAM buyers with regards to procurement have changed noticeably form the first half of this year. As the demand related to servers, PCs, and other major applications slows down, the whole DRAM market will gradually shift to the state of oversupply. Since the DRAM market is an oligopoly, the major suppliers will still have significant leverage in price negotiations. Quotes for server DRAM products could therefore rise further by 5-10% QoQ in 3Q21. However, given that prices have yet to be finalized for a substantial portion of 3Q21 contracts, the transaction volume is also very limited. This, in turn, will inevitably create a lot of uncertainties with respect to the price trend in 4Q21.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms. Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforce.com

  • Page 1
  • 1 page(s)
  • 4 result(s)