Pandemic ‘Wipes Out’ 2020 HPC Market Growth, Flat to 12% Drop Expected

By Tiffany Trader

March 31, 2020

As the world battles the still accelerating novel coronavirus, the HPC community has mounted a forceful response to the pandemic on many fronts. But these efforts won’t inoculate the HPC industry from the economic effects of COVID-19. Market watcher Intersect360 Research has revised its 2020 forecast for HPC products and services, projecting a flat period in the best case to a decline of 12 percent year-over-year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in stark contrast with the firm’s original, pre-pandemic forecast of 7 percent YoY growth for 2020.

Addison Snell, Intersect360 Research CEO, said the report gives a range of guidance based on uncertain factors; the possible 12 percent decline is the midpoint of a spread from 6 to 17 percent below prior market expectations.

Revised 2020 Forecast, Total HPC Market Revenue ($000) – Intersect360 Research, 2020

Surveys conducted in February and March of this year by the firm indicate that 2019 numbers remain on track for a healthy 7 percent increase over 2018, from $36.1 billion in 2018 to $38.7 billion. The original 2020 forecast had the market up by another 7 percent year-over-year to $41.4 billion. This projection has been scaled down to between $34.1 billion and $38.7 billion total market size with a midpoint of $36.4 billion. Parallel to the bull-turned-bear stock market, this dip would end a streak of 10 straight growth years for the HPC market, according to the analyst firm.

“We are still early in the process of learning about the COVID-19 pandemic and what it will truly mean for the world,” said Snell. “That said, we cannot think everything will stay the same. Our data and experience show there will be an adjustment in the HPC market as a direct result of the spread of the novel coronavirus.”

Not all market segments will be equally impacted, according to Intersect360, with certain segments, such as public sector research and biosciences, resisting the downturn.

“The high performance computing market’s growth has been driven in large part by commercial vertical markets over the last decade, and that’s where we’re going to see the brunt of [the negative impact],” relayed Snell on the This Week in HPC podcast (produced by Intersect360 Research and distributed by HPCwire). “Interestingly enough, public sector research should be somewhat buoyed by a lot of the investments that we’re seeing at a national level, even academic research. We won’t see as much of a deviation from forecasts in the public sector, in biosciences. Similarly, investment in pharmaceuticals is somewhat shielded. But when we go to other commercial vertical markets, we’re going to see a larger effect; some of the worst hit are going to be automotive and aerospace engineering.”

The updated report notes that as budgets tighten in response to economic pressures, system and storage spending, whether on new acquisitions or upgrades, gets put on hold. This presents an opening for cloud spending, which the firm expects will rise above its “already-high” double-digit growth projections.

“[System acquisition] is the largest portion of expense that I can defer in order to protect operations,” said Snell. “Cloud computing is something that tends to do well in times of uncertainty or volatility, because you can use it on both ends. If you have a sudden increase in demand, for example, in the public sector and biosciences, cloud can absorb that kind of demand. At the other extreme, if you’ve deferred an expenditure for a new system or an upgrade, but need some capacity for ongoing work, cloud can pick some of that up. So our growth rate for cloud is going up substantially in our forecast for 2020.”

He added that as a small portion of the HPC market, cloud sector growth won’t offset losses in on-prem hardware spending. But hardware spending could bounce back the following year, Snell said, buffering aggregate losses as procurements are delayed rather than canceled. Visibility is limited, however, by so many unknowns  around the pandemic’s course and impacts.

“People will move to protect staffing and operations first,” said Snell. “If we get a minor effect, I think a lot of that [spend] will come back in a future year. But if we really see a deleterious effect throughout the worldwide economy, then some of the revenue is just going to wind up being lost. So we’ve given this range of guidance right now.”

Intersect360 acknowledged the wide range in its updated forecast with so much still uncertain about the unfolding of the pandemic. Snell said his team expects to narrow that range to a more specific number at the end of this year and will publish a revised five-year forecast in Q2. “We typically complete those numbers toward the end of April every year, but we didn’t want to wait another month to get out this pre-announced guidance for COVID-19 because it was pretty clear that we’re going to miss the original forecast as a result of the pandemic. That just goes beyond our forecast capabilities to look at things like war and famine, and in this case disease, that just wasn’t part of the forecast methodology, but it’s a reality now.”

Intersect360 Research is one of several analyst houses offering updated guidance on the impact of the pandemic that has instigated the biggest economic disruption since the 2008 financial crisis. Last week, HPCwire reported on projected market contractions. Hyperion Research stated it expects delayed product shipments, especially from China, and a decrease in 2020 Q1 and Q2 revenue, with growth possibly returning in the back half of the year. While there is substantial demand for computing to process COVID-19 workloads, it comes primarily from existing HPC systems rather than orders for new ones, noted Hyperion.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

AI Chip Start-up Groq to Detail Technology Progress in Fall

August 13, 2020

AI chip startup Groq announced yesterday it had closed its most recent funding round, saying the new investments will help it double in size by the end of this year and double again by the end of next year as it transiti Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Speeds NAMD by 1.8x: Saves Xeon Processor Users Millions of Compute Hours

August 12, 2020

Potentially saving datacenters millions of CPU node hours, Intel and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC) have collaborated to develop AVX-512 optimizations for the NAMD scalable molecular dynamics cod Read more…

By Rob Farber

Intel’s Optane/DAOS Solution Tops Latest IO500

August 11, 2020

Intel’s persistent memory technology, Optane, and its DAOS (Distributed Asynchronous Object Storage) stack continue to impress and gain market traction. Yesterday, Intel reported an Optane and DAOS-based system finishe Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Now Offers Virtual Tours

August 10, 2020

Summit, the second most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world, now has a virtual tour. The tour, implemented by 3D platform Matterport, allows users to virtually “walk” around the massive supercomputer Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Examine Changes in Chesapeake Bay

August 8, 2020

The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the continental United States, weaves its way south from Maryland, collecting waters from West Virginia, Delaware, DC, Pennsylvania and New York along the way. Like many major e Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

University of Adelaide Provides Seamless Bioinformatics Training Using AWS

The University of Adelaide, established in South Australia in 1874, maintains a rich history of scientific innovation. For more than 140 years, the institution and its researchers have had an impact all over the world—making vital contributions to the invention of X-ray crystallography, insulin, penicillin, and the Olympic torch. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Student Success from ‘Scratch’: CHPC’s Proof is in the Pudding

August 7, 2020

Happy Sithole, who directs the South African Centre for High Performance Computing (SA-CHPC), called the 13th annual CHPC National conference to order on December 1, 2019, at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Kempton Pa Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

AI Chip Start-up Groq to Detail Technology Progress in Fall

August 13, 2020

AI chip startup Groq announced yesterday it had closed its most recent funding round, saying the new investments will help it double in size by the end of this Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Speeds NAMD by 1.8x: Saves Xeon Processor Users Millions of Compute Hours

August 12, 2020

Potentially saving datacenters millions of CPU node hours, Intel and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC) have collaborated to develop AVX-51 Read more…

By Rob Farber

Intel’s Optane/DAOS Solution Tops Latest IO500

August 11, 2020

Intel’s persistent memory technology, Optane, and its DAOS (Distributed Asynchronous Object Storage) stack continue to impress and gain market traction. Yeste Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Now Offers Virtual Tours

August 10, 2020

Summit, the second most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world, now has a virtual tour. The tour, implemented by 3D platform Matterport, allows use Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Research: A Survey of Numerical Methods Utilizing Mixed Precision Arithmetic

August 5, 2020

Within the past years, hardware vendors have started designing low precision special function units in response to the demand of the machine learning community Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt and Jack Dongarra

Implement Photonic Tensor Cores for Machine Learning?

August 5, 2020

Researchers from George Washington University have reported an approach for building photonic tensor cores that leverages phase change photonic memory to implem Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Machines, Connections, Data, and Especially People: OAC Acting Director Amy Friedlander Charts Office’s Blueprint for Innovation

August 3, 2020

The path to innovation in cyberinfrastructure (CI) will require continued focus on building HPC systems and secure connections between them, in addition to the Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of ‘Bradykinin Storm’ That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms

July 28, 2020

Doctors and medical researchers have struggled to pinpoint – let alone explain – the deluge of symptoms induced by COVID-19 infections in patients, and what Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Joliot-Curie Supercomputer Used to Build First Full, High-Fidelity Aircraft Engine Simulation

July 14, 2020

When industrial designers plan the design of a new element of a vehicle’s propulsion or exterior, they typically use fluid dynamics to optimize airflow and in Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

John Martinis Reportedly Leaves Google Quantum Effort

April 21, 2020

John Martinis, who led Google’s quantum computing effort since establishing its quantum hardware group in 2014, has left Google after being moved into an advi Read more…

By John Russell

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This