Worldwide HPC and AI Training 2021 Total Market Size and 2022–2026 Forecast: Products and Services


This Intersect360 Research report presents the 2021 total market size and five-year forecast for the overall market for infrastructure for High Performance Computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) training, segmented into product and services categories, including servers, storage, services, software, networks, cloud, and other products. The forecast horizon is from 2022 through 2026, with compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) using 2021 as a base.

This report creates a unified model for HPC and AI training infrastructure, including a description of the full influence of hyperscale companies as both buyers of infrastructure for AI training and of providers of cloud computing resources for both HPC and AI. For year-over-year consistency, we also examine traditional HPC budgets; these often include machine learning or AI training workloads. The unified model brings in additional spending on AI training that is not associated with any HPC budget.

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. Additionally, this report tracks similar infrastructure for machine learning and deep learning for the training of AI models.

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 (traditional HPC model only)
  • Software categories (HPC software revenue): operating environments, developer tools, middleware, storage software, transfer costs, application software, other (traditional HPC model only)
  • Services categories (HPC services revenue): maintenance and repair, system engineering, system integration, training, programming services, other (traditional HPC model only)
  • HPC server market shares (total on-premises HPC and AI training, current year only, not forecast)

The pandemic economy has continued to create tremendous short-term disruptions. As COVID-19 continued to affect multiple industries, the previously forecasted rebound was blunted, and the market experienced only slight growth. Total HPC market revenue grew to $41.0 billion ($40,961 million), up 5.2% from 2020. Within HPC, cloud computing continued extraordinary growth, buoyed by the uncertainty and supply chain disruptions brought about by the pandemic.

Including both HPC and AI training, the total market was $46.4 billion ($46,359 million), not including AI infrastructure purchased by hyperscale companies. Of the additional $5.4 billion in pure AI training spending not associated with HPC budgets, only about one-quarter is on-premises infrastructure; the other three-quarters is cloud computing supporting AI training. When hyperscale companies’ own use of AI is considered, it is apparent how dominant the role of hyperscale companies is.

Hyperscale companies are those with web-scale infrastructure supporting a wide variety of applications, such as search, social media, gaming, media distribution, and cloud services, to name a few. The hyperscale market—first described by Intersect360 Research as “ultrascale internet” in 2007 and broken out as a distinct market beginning in 2014—has grown to encompass nearly half of all data center infrastructure spending, with over 80% consumed by the twelve top spenders.

Over the next five years, HPC and AI training will rebound to stable growth levels. HPC budgets, conforming to previous years’ methodology, will grow to $59.2 billion ($59,241 million) in 2026, a 7.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Not including hyperscale consumption, HPC and AI training combined will grow to $70.0 billion ($70,014 million), an 8.6% CAGR. The hyperscale market has been undergoing continuous growth and consolidation but is also subject to substantial risks; these are discussed in this report, and Intersect360 Research is not forecasting the hyperscale market at this time.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                                                                                   2

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                                                      4

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                             6

Multiple Market Views of HPC and AI Training                                                                                7

What Are HPC, AI, and Hyperscale?                                                                                                 9

COVID-19                                                                                                                                       9

HPC AND AI TRAINING MARKET 2021: PRODUCT CATEGORIES                                                       11

2021 Market Size: Traditional HPC View                                                                                        11

Table 1: Total HPC Market Revenue ($M), 2021 vs. 2020,  by Product Category                                  11

Figure 1: Total HPC Market Revenue ($M), 2021 vs. 2020,  by Product Category                                12

2021 Market Size: Expanded HPC and AI Training View                                                                    12

Table 2: Total HPC and AI Training Market Revenue ($M), 2021,  by Product Category                       13

Figure 2: Total HPC and AI Training Market Revenue ($M), 2021  by Product Category                       13

2022–2026 HPC AND AI TRAINING FORECAST: PRODUCT CATEGORIES                                           15

2022-26 Market Forecast: Traditional HPC View                                                                            15

Table 3: Total HPC Market Revenue ($M), 2020-21 Actuals,  2022 to 2026 Forecast, by Product Category   15

Table 4: HPC Market Revenue Share, 2020-21 Actuals,  2022 to 2026 Forecast, by Product Category  16

Table 5: HPC Market Year-over-Year Revenue Change, 2021 Actual,  2022 to 2026 Forecast, by Product Category   16

Figure 3: Total HPC Market Revenue ($M), 2020-21 Actuals,  2022 to 2026 Forecast, by Product Category 17

2022-26 Market Forecast: Expanded HPC and AI Training View                                                       18

Table 6: HPC and AI Training Market Revenue ($M), 2021 Actuals,  2022 to 2026 Forecast, by Product Category      19

Table 7: HPC and AI Training Market Revenue Share, 2021 Actuals,  2022 to 2026 Forecast, by Product Category    19

Table 8: HPC and AI Training Market Year-over-Year Revenue Change, 2022 to 2026 Forecast, by Product Category19

Figure 4: Total HPC and AI Training Market Revenue ($M), 2021 Actuals, 2022 to 2026 Forecast, by Product Category        20

CONCLUSIONS                                                                                                                              21

APPENDIX A: METHODOLOGY                                                                                                      23


What Are Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?                                                                 25

What Is HPC?                                                                                                                               27

What Is Hyperscale?                                                                                                                     27

What Makes Hyperscale “Hyper”?                                                                                                  28

Hyperscale and Business Computing                                                                                               29

Hyperscale and HPC                                                                                                                      29

How Hyperscale is Unique                                                                                                             31

APPENDIX C: ECONOMIC DYNAMICS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC                                                33


Market Maturity                                                                                                                          35

Fundamental Market Dynamics Model                                                                                          36

Figure D1: Traditional HPC Market Dynamics                                                                                  37

Fundamental Market Assumptions                                                                                                38

Fundamental Drivers                                                                                                                    38

Fundamental Market Dampeners                                                                                                   39

Model-Based Assumptions                                                                                                            40

Basic Market Drivers                                                                                                                    40

Basic Market Dampeners                                                                                                               41