Worldwide HPC 2020 Total Market Model and 2021–2025 Forecast: Vertical Markets


This Intersect360 Research report presents the 2020 total market model and five-year forecast for the overall High Performance Computing (HPC) market, segmented into vertical markets across industry, government, and academia. The forecast horizon is from 2021 through 2025, with compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) using 2020 as a base. Because 2020 was anomalous in many ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic; we also show CAGRs using 2019 as the base year.

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 series include the following segmentations:

  • Products and Services: servers, storage, networks, software, service, cloud, other
  • Vertical markets: academia, national security, national research labs, national agencies, state or local governments, bio sciences, chemical engineering, consumer product manufacturing, electronics, energy, financial services, large product manufacturing, media and entertainment, retail, transportation, other
  • Regions: North America, EMEA, Asia-Pacific, Latin America
  • Server class (HPC server revenue): entry-level, midrange, high-end, supercomputer
  • Cloud categories (HPC cloud revenue): raw cycles, cloud storage, application hosting (SaaS), infrastructure hosting (IaaS, PaaS), other
  • Software categories (HPC software revenue): operating environments, developer tools, middleware, storage software, transfer costs, application software, other
  • Services categories (HPC services revenue): maintenance and repair, system engineering, system integration, training, programming services, other
  • HPC server market shares (current year only, not forecast)
  • HPC storage market shares (current year only, not forecast)

Total HPC market revenue fell to $38.9 billion in 2020, down 0.2% from 2019, the first year-over-year market decline since 2009, attributable directly to the economic effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The essentially flat market outperformed the 3.7% decline Intersect360 Research had forecast for the year.

More than any other segmentation, our look at vertical markets highlights the very different effects of the pandemic on different types of HPC users. The entire government sector showed growth that exceeded previous steady-state rates, as governments launched effort to combat the pandemic with HPC. This was seen most dramatically in national research labs, which had the highest growth of any tracked vertical market segment. The government sector was joined notably by one single commercial segment, bio-sciences, again in direct response to COVID-19. Other commercial segments underperformed previous growth rates, and in many cases declined year-over-year, often significantly.

Coming off the anomalous 2020, there will be a rebound in HPC spending in 2021, as deferred projects begin to get fulfilled, leading to a short-term 16.4% HPC market gain. In the long run the HPC market will return to steady growth and will exceed $60 billion in 2025, corresponding to a 9.1% CAGR using the down-year 2020 as a base, or a 7.5% CAGR from 2019. Independent of the pandemic effects, national research labs have the highest underlying growth rate, due to the emergence of Exascale computing. The near-term effects of COVID-19 vary significantly by year and by segment; the methodology is fully described in this report.



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                                                                                   2

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                                                      4

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                             6

What Is HPC?                                                                                                                                 9

HPC 2020 MARKET PERFORMANCE: VERTICAL MARKETS                                                               10

New Segments                                                                                                                              11

Market Performance                                                                                                                    12

Table 1: Total HPC Market Revenue ($000), 2020 vs. 2019,  by Vertical Market                                  12

ECONOMIC DYNAMICS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC                                                                    13

Figure 1: The Shape of an HPC Recession                                                                                          15

Figure 2: HPC Revenue ($000) as a Result of 2009 Recession,  2008 – 2013                                         15

Base Years for Compound Annual Growth Rates: 2019 vs. 2020                                                      16

Table 2: Comparison of Base Years for CAGR Calculations                                                                16

2021–2025 HPC MARKET FORECAST: VERTICAL MARKETS                                                             17

Table 3: Total HPC Market Revenue ($000), 2019-20 Actuals,  2021 to 2025 Forecast, by Vertical Market   18

Table 4: HPC Market Revenue Share, 2019-20 Actuals,  2021 to 2025 Forecast, by Vertical Market     18

Table 5: Year-over-Year Revenue Change, 2020 Actual,  2021 to 2025 Forecast, by Vertical Market     19

Figure 3: Total HPC Market Revenue ($000), 2019-20 Actuals,  2021 to 2025 Forecast, by Vertical Market  20

CONCLUSIONS                                                                                                                              21

APPENDIX A: METHODOLOGY                                                                                                      23

COVID-19                                                                                                                                     24


Market Maturity                                                                                                                          25

Fundamental Market Dynamics Model                                                                                          26

Figure A1: Traditional HPC Market Dynamics                                                                                  27

Fundamental Market Assumptions                                                                                                28

Fundamental Drivers                                                                                                                    28

Fundamental Market Dampeners                                                                                                   29

Model-Based Assumptions                                                                                                            30

Basic Market Drivers                                                                                                                    30

Basic Market Dampeners                                                                                                               31