Intersect360 Research surveyed the High Performance Computing (HPC) user community on a wide range of technology issues. The complete study analyzes users’
current computing systems, storage systems, networks, cloud computing usage, and selected purchasing criteria. Our goal in this analysis is to provide
an overview of how HPC systems are configured, including the breadth of technologies most commonly used.
Intersect360 Research defines HPC as the use of servers, clusters, and supercomputers—plus associated software, tools, components, storage, and services—for
scientific, engineering, or analytical tasks that are particularly intensive in computation, memory usage, or data management. Intersect360 Research
reports available in this HPC Technology Survey report series include the following segmentations:
This report provides a detailed examination of processing elements, including both CPUs and accelerators, installed among responding HPC user sites. This
analysis includes both a look at how processors are configured in HPC systems, and the reported vendors of both CPUs and accelerators. This includes
x86, ARM, and POWER processors plus Nvidia, AMD, and FPGA accelerators.
Intel CPUs still hold a commanding position in the market, with 98% of respondents reporting at least some usage and 88% reporting broad usage. AMD processors
are in use in 70% of HPC data centers, with nearly 25% relying on AMD CPUs broadly. For the first time in our surveys, ARM processor usage has surpassed
that of IBM’s POWER processor, with 24% using ARM versus 20% using POWER.
On the accelerator part of the survey, nearly 80% of the sites surveyed are using some type of accelerator, typically GPUs provided by Nvidia. AMD Instinct
GPUs were in use in 15% of the organizations surveyed while FPGAs were in use in just over 20% of respondent data centers. The number of accelerators
per node is probably larger than most believe, with 69% reporting four accelerators per node (slightly higher than the proportion using two accelerators
per node), and a surprising 38% of respondents using eight accelerators per node. Intersect360 Research attributes this trend to the expansion of machine
learning in HPC environments.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2
TABLE OF CONTENTS 4
What Is HPC? 6
Total Responses 6
Table 1: Total Estimated Clusters in Respondent Organizations 7
HPC PROCESSOR TECHNOLOGIES 7
CPU Usage 8
Figure 1: CPU Usage in HPC Data Centers 8
HPC Accelerator Usage 9
Figure 2: Accelerator Type & Usage 9
Table 2: Accelerator Use by HPC Market Segment 11
Figure 3: Accelerators Per Node 11
Table 3: Accelerator Interfaces 12
CPU-Accelerator Combinations 12
Figure 4: CPU-Accelerator Combinations 13
APPENDIX A: SURVEY DEMOGRAPHICS 15
Table A1: Geographic Region of Respondent 15
Table A2: Economic Sector of Respondent Organization 15
Table A3: Number of Employees for Respondent Organization 15
Figure A1: Role of Survey Respondent in Organization 16
Figure A2: HPC Purchasing Responsibility of Respondent 16
Figure A3: Total Annual HPC Budget of Responding Organization 17
APPENDIX B: SELECTED QUALITATIVE COMMENTS ON ACCELERATORS 18
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