Palo Alto, CALIF. — Four years after entering the High Performance Computing (HPC) market, Sun Microsystems, Inc. has risen past IBM, Compaq and SGI to become the second leading supplier of HPC systems during the first half of the year. Powered by the strength of the company’s flagship Sun Enterprise 10000 server (commonly known as Starfire), the company leaped from a fifth-place ranking to a close second in the space of two quarters.
During the first two quarters of calendar year 2000, Sun represented a solid 20 percent of the market with revenue of $580 million, according to IDC’s second quarter report on the High Performance Technical Computer market. Sun’s HPC market share is 20 times larger than it was in 1996, its first full year in the market. Annual revenue since then has skyrocketed from $50 million to more than $1 billion.
In contrast, IBM trailed Sun with $571 million in revenue for the first six months of 2000; Compaq and SGI rounded out the list with revenues of $501 million and $348 million, respectively. Sun was a close second only to Hewlett-Packard, which reported revenue of $597 million and led by a single percentage point.
In quarterly performance, Sun increased its net HPC earnings over the first quarter of 2000 with $293 million in revenue during the second quarter. Overall unit sales were also up during the second quarter, with a total of 4,138 systems shipped.
“This meteoric rise is living proof of Sun’s ongoing commitment to the HPC market,” said Steve Campbell, director of marketing, Enterprise Systems Products. “To grow by a factor of 20 in four short years is an achievement in this constantly evolving market. It’s a testament to the investment we’ve made in our HPC team, and to our leveraged strategy of addressing both commercial and technical applications with a broad general purpose platform.
“We’re looking forward to building on this momentum, as we continue to grow our HPC market share and leverage HPC technologies for more commercial applications such as bioinformatics and Web-centric supercomputing.”
Sun’s presence on the list mirrors its equally rapid growth on the June “World’s Top 500 Supercomputer Sites,” where the company was ranked as the second-largest provider on the list with 121 entries, and where it experienced the largest growth among the top five providers. The IDC report can be viewed at http://www.idc.com .