Hyperion Research: COVID-19 Changing the Global 2020 HPC Market Landscape

By Todd R. Weiss

November 18, 2020

Before the COVID-19 pandemic essentially stopped the world in its tracks in March, the global HPC server market was expected to grow from $13.7 billion in 2019 to $14.5 billion in 2020, according to estimates from Hyperion Research.

Things since then have certainly changed, with Hyperion’s latest November forecast calling for global HPC server revenue for 2020 of $11.9 billion, a 17.9 percent decline from its earlier estimate, led by the global business shrinkage due to the devastating pandemic. Hyperion Research unveiled its latest “SC20 HPC Market Results and New Forecasts” report Tuesday (Nov. 17) at the SC20 supercomputing conference, where it traditionally presents its market analyses. SC20 is being held virtually this year due to the pandemic.

The November 2020 forecast is at least up a bit from the company’s July 2020 forecast – the analyst firm’s first following the start of the coronavirus pandemic – when HPC server revenue was originally downgraded to $10.9 billion for this year.

HPC server revenue forecasts through 2024 have also been cut by Hyperion compared to its May 2020 figures. The May 2020 forecast originally called for $20.8 billion in HPC server revenue by 2024, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7 percent. That was cut in the November update to $19 billion, for a CAGR of 6.8 percent, according to the company.

“We’ve been spending the last six to nine months to try to really understand what is the COVID-19 virus impact to the overall HPC market,” Hyperion CEO Earl C. Joseph said in a briefing with the HPC community. “We’ve done a lot of surveys, and about a quarter ago, we thought the impacts were going to be extremely severe. Now we think that they won’t be quite as bad,” depending on the market segment.

The pandemic has delayed product shipments, which impacts the figures, he said. “There are also delayed revenues as far as customers allowing vendors in the door to install systems” as well as customers delaying orders.

Countering some of these losses, however, is some new HPC demand to create systems to combat the virus, said Joseph. “We’re also seeing public cloud computing grow quite a bit. In the past with cloud computing … one big advantage was dealing with spikes in your workloads. Very few people thought the spike could be zero. If the government tells you that you have to close your doors for two months, and then on Monday morning you can open the doors again, that value proposition of being able to turn off your expenditures and turn it on immediately has become dramatically more powerful, and hence cloud computing is doing well.”

The biggest negative impacts on HPC server sales are in the low end of the market, where spending cuts are traditionally seen in downturns, said Joseph. “The net for the first half of 2020, we’ve seen a decline of 11.5 percent for on-prem server purchases, and we are now forecasting a decline of about 14 percent for the entire year.”

The 2020 results will be a contrast from 2019 and 2018, which were consecutive record-breaking years of $13.68 and $13.7 billion in HPC server revenue, said Joseph.

“On the positive side, if one can use those terms [in the pandemic], there is more funding being allocated for the very high end of the market to help combat COVID-19,” he said. “But also we’re seeing some regular shifts in the market itself. In perspective, we thought it was going to be six or seven percent growth here. So, you’re still talking about a delta of about 20 percent, which is a very substantial change from the impact.”

Hyperion’s 2020 Cloud Forecast

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is driving more customers to increase spending on cloud computing, which is booming due to work-from-home requirements across the nation and the world, said Hyperion analyst Alex Norton.

The latest Hyperion cloud spending forecast for 2020 points to $4.3 billion in revenue, up from an earlier estimate for the year of $4.26 billion. COVID-19 impacts continue to accelerate cloud adoption, as HPC in the cloud is expected to grow more than 2.5 times faster than the on-prem HPC server market, according to Hyperion. By 2024, the five-year CAGR is expected to reach a 17.6 percent increase.

In the past, cloud costs were simply seen by customers as actual dollars spent on needed services, but new data suggests that users are looking more closely at the built-in cost-effectiveness of the cloud, said Norton. “And they are incorporating new portions of running a workload to that [thinking]. This includes looking at queue times which can be very long on-prem and are non-existent in the cloud.”

At the same time, cloud options which allow for scaling that may not be possible on-prem, he said. “These are … factors that are now being incorporated into a cost-effectiveness analysis for HPC workloads.”

The report also shows that AI workloads continue to grow in adoption and utilization in the HPC market, said Norton. “Recent data suggests that the average or traditional HPC user is anticipating to run about 20 percent of their HPC-enabled AI workloads in the cloud in the next year. Part of this increase is due mainly to access to a variety of hardware and software geared towards AI applications, and also access to data that is either stored or collected in the cloud.”

New Trend: HPC Users in 2020 Inquiring About Quantum Computing

One surprise at this year’s Hyperion SC20 presentation came from Hyperion VP of research Bob Sorensen, who said he is seeing more interest in the promise of quantum computing from traditional HPC users. And that increasing interest comes not only from existing HPC users looking for performance gains on critical workloads, optimization, AI and machine learning, but also from traditional enterprise IT shops that never before might have considered themselves as HPC users, he said.

“They understand that quantum computing offers some very interesting performance potential,” said Sorensen. “They’re not interested in quantum supremacy, and they’re not interested in heretofore intractable solutions. They’re interested in performance gains that perhaps may be as little as 40 times to 50 times what they have now. They’re looking at that as a competitive advantage.”

Those users are looking for some key applications to experience an acceleration that moves them about four to five years down the road when it comes to computational capability, said Sorensen. “It’s not unlike what we saw in the GPU world, narrow application with some very interesting performance that ultimately may start to flip right out. That was the biggest surprise that I saw this year.”

Exascale HPC Highlights for 2020

In the exascale computing realm, progress continues to be made on systems being built and proposed around the world, according to the latest Hyperion Research report.

In the U.S., three systems are scheduled to roll out over the next few years, with a combined budget of about $1.8 billion, said Sorensen. The Aurora system, being built for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science at Argonne National Laboratory, was to be the first U.S.-based exascale system but is now delayed by about one year due to delays with the Intel 7nm Ponte Vecchio GPU chips slated for the machine. Instead, the Frontier system that will be installed in Oak Ridge National Lab (delivery in late 2021, acceptance in 2022), will be the first U.S. exascale system, said Sorensen. The third system is the El Capitan (CORAL-2) supercomputer being built for Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

Other nations are also busy on exascale projects, said Sorensen. “China is really trying to flex its capabilities in building not only HPC [machines], but the component technology that drives those HPC [machines], so we’re anxiously awaiting what happens to come out of China and these systems,” he said. Systems being built in China include NUDT (Tianhe), Sugon and Sunway, he added.

“Each of these were announced as prototypes a few years back,” said Sorensen. “We’re not sure which one of these three will eventually be selected for full-up production. One, two, or perhaps all three may actually see the light of day at some point.”

In Europe, the European Union is looking at lots of interesting diversity and plans for exascale machines, he said. A slate of 150-petaflops to 200-petaflops systems are being built in Finland, Spain and Italy, for a total investment of about $771 million, starting in the fourth quarter of this year. “UK plans are a bit more muddy right now with their exit from the EU,” said Sorensen. “They will not be able to participate fully in the EuroHPC projects, but we do know that they are making some plans to develop a system that they could use for themselves. Cost estimates are between $929 million to $1.6 billion. But the key there is to stand by for some more details as they do roll out.”

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!

SPEC Introduces SPEChpc 2021Suite for Heterogeneous Systems

October 28, 2021

SPEC – the Standard Performance Evaluation Company – introduced its newest benchmark suite today, SPEChpc 2021, intended to measure “intense compute parallel performance across one or more nodes.” Founded in 1988 Read more…

Rockport Networks Launches 300 Gbps Switchless Fabric, Reveals 396-Node Deployment at TACC

October 27, 2021

Rockport Networks emerged from stealth this week with the launch of its 300 Gbps switchless networking architecture focused on the needs of the high-performance computing and the advanced-scale AI market. Early customers Read more…

AWS Adds Gaudi-Powered, ML-Optimized EC2 DL1 Instances, Now in GA

October 27, 2021

As machine learning becomes a dominating use case for local and cloud computing, companies are racing to provide solutions specifically optimized and accelerated for AI applications. Now, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is int Read more…

Fireside Chat with LBNL’s Advanced Quantum Testbed Director

October 26, 2021

Last week, Irfan Siddiqi led a “fireside chat” with a few media and analysts to introduce the Department of Energy’s relatively new Advanced Quantum Testbed (AQT), which is based at Lawrence Berkeley National Labor Read more…

Graphcore Introduces Larger-Than-Ever IPU-Based Pods

October 22, 2021

After launching its second-generation intelligence processing units (IPUs) in 2020, four years after emerging from stealth, Graphcore is now boosting its product line with its largest commercially-available IPU-based sys Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Royalty-free stock illustration ID: 577238446

Putting bitrates into perspective

Recently, we talked about the advances NICE DCV has made to push pixels from cloud-hosted desktops or applications over the internet even more efficiently than before. Read more…

Quantum Chemistry Project to Be Among the First on EuroHPC’s LUMI System

October 22, 2021

Finland’s CSC has just installed the first module of LUMI, a 550-peak petaflops system supported by the European Union’s EuroHPC Joint Undertaking. While LUMI -- pictured in the header -- isn’t slated to complete i Read more…

SPEC Introduces SPEChpc 2021Suite for Heterogeneous Systems

October 28, 2021

SPEC – the Standard Performance Evaluation Company – introduced its newest benchmark suite today, SPEChpc 2021, intended to measure “intense compute paral Read more…

Rockport Networks Launches 300 Gbps Switchless Fabric, Reveals 396-Node Deployment at TACC

October 27, 2021

Rockport Networks emerged from stealth this week with the launch of its 300 Gbps switchless networking architecture focused on the needs of the high-performance Read more…

AWS Adds Gaudi-Powered, ML-Optimized EC2 DL1 Instances, Now in GA

October 27, 2021

As machine learning becomes a dominating use case for local and cloud computing, companies are racing to provide solutions specifically optimized and accelerate Read more…

Fireside Chat with LBNL’s Advanced Quantum Testbed Director

October 26, 2021

Last week, Irfan Siddiqi led a “fireside chat” with a few media and analysts to introduce the Department of Energy’s relatively new Advanced Quantum Testb Read more…

Killer Instinct: AMD’s Multi-Chip MI200 GPU Readies for a Major Global Debut

October 21, 2021

AMD’s next-generation supercomputer GPU is on its way – and by all appearances, it’s about to make a name for itself. The AMD Radeon Instinct MI200 GPU (a successor to the MI100) will, over the next year, begin to power three massive systems on three continents: the United States’ exascale Frontier system; the European Union’s pre-exascale LUMI system; and Australia’s petascale Setonix system. Read more…

D-Wave Embraces Gate-Based Quantum Computing; Charts Path Forward

October 21, 2021

Earlier this month D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing pioneer that has long championed quantum annealing-based quantum computing (and sometimes taken heat fo Read more…

LLNL Prepares the Water and Power Infrastructure for El Capitan

October 21, 2021

When it’s (ostensibly) ready in early 2023, El Capitan is expected to deliver in excess of two exaflops of peak computing power – around four times the powe Read more…

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Enter Dojo: Tesla Reveals Design for Modular Supercomputer & D1 Chip

August 20, 2021

Two months ago, Tesla revealed a massive GPU cluster that it said was “roughly the number five supercomputer in the world,” and which was just a precursor to Tesla’s real supercomputing moonshot: the long-rumored, little-detailed Dojo system. Read more…

Esperanto, Silicon in Hand, Champions the Efficiency of Its 1,092-Core RISC-V Chip

August 27, 2021

Esperanto Technologies made waves last December when it announced ET-SoC-1, a new RISC-V-based chip aimed at machine learning that packed nearly 1,100 cores onto a package small enough to fit six times over on a single PCIe card. Now, Esperanto is back, silicon in-hand and taking aim... Read more…

US Closes in on Exascale: Frontier Installation Is Underway

September 29, 2021

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, held by Zoom this week (Sept. 29-30), it was revealed that the Frontier supercomputer is currently being installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The staff at the Oak Ridge Leadership... Read more…

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer... Read more…

Intel Completes LLVM Adoption; Will End Updates to Classic C/C++ Compilers in Future

August 10, 2021

Intel reported in a blog this week that its adoption of the open source LLVM architecture for Intel’s C/C++ compiler is complete. The transition is part of In Read more…

Hot Chips: Here Come the DPUs and IPUs from Arm, Nvidia and Intel

August 25, 2021

The emergence of data processing units (DPU) and infrastructure processing units (IPU) as potentially important pieces in cloud and datacenter architectures was Read more…

AMD-Xilinx Deal Gains UK, EU Approvals — China’s Decision Still Pending

July 1, 2021

AMD’s planned acquisition of FPGA maker Xilinx is now in the hands of Chinese regulators after needed antitrust approvals for the $35 billion deal were receiv Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Intel Unveils New Node Names; Sapphire Rapids Is Now an ‘Intel 7’ CPU

July 27, 2021

What's a preeminent chip company to do when its process node technology lags the competition by (roughly) one generation, but outmoded naming conventions make i Read more…

HPE Wins $2B GreenLake HPC-as-a-Service Deal with NSA

September 1, 2021

In the heated, oft-contentious, government IT space, HPE has won a massive $2 billion contract to provide HPC and AI services to the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA). Following on the heels of the now-canceled $10 billion JEDI contract (reissued as JWCC) and a $10 billion... Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

The Latest MLPerf Inference Results: Nvidia GPUs Hold Sway but Here Come CPUs and Intel

September 22, 2021

The latest round of MLPerf inference benchmark (v 1.1) results was released today and Nvidia again dominated, sweeping the top spots in the closed (apples-to-ap Read more…

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…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

Frontier to Meet 20MW Exascale Power Target Set by DARPA in 2008

July 14, 2021

After more than a decade of planning, the United States’ first exascale computer, Frontier, is set to arrive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) later this year. Crossing this “1,000x” horizon required overcoming four major challenges: power demand, reliability, extreme parallelism and data movement. Read more…

D-Wave Embraces Gate-Based Quantum Computing; Charts Path Forward

October 21, 2021

Earlier this month D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing pioneer that has long championed quantum annealing-based quantum computing (and sometimes taken heat fo Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire