AMD Captures 16 Percent of Server CPU Market
Competition in the market for high-performance semiconductors targeting data center workloads is red hot according to Omdia. In the server CPU market AMD scored its best-ever quarter from a market share and sales perspective with demand from hyperscale cloud service providers, and Google in particular, being a big contributing factor to AMD’s strong performance.
The demand for servers across all market segments remained strong in the second quarter of 2021 amidst concerns about order fulfillment due to component constraints. The industry saw 3.4 million servers shipped in the second quarter of 2021, the same amount as during the record second quarter of 2020. This was in line with Omdia’s forecast for the quarter and resulted in a total of $21.5 billion dollars of vendor revenue.
Full year server revenue is on track to grow 11 percent, reaching $92 billion. The strong revenue growth is boosted by a steady increase in server prices. Omdia continues to see servers optimized for compute- and data-intensive workloads like artificial intelligence and analytics take higher share of the annual shipments. These are configured with a pool of co-processors, more memory and faster storage.
Alongside AMD’s success in the server CPU market, Intel signaled it will take a new approach to CPU architecture, introducing new designs for an efficient and a performance core. The former would enable throughput efficiency and multitasking with the low voltage operation creating headroom to increase frequency and scale up performance for more demanding workloads. The performance-core design appropriately targets single-threaded application performance. Most importantly, the combination of these new microarchitectures would enable a wider range of customized CPUs that match application requirements.
As the battle of the x86 architectures continues Arm-based CPU vendors have been making great progress in penetrating the servers of the hyperscale cloud service providers. Although Graviton deployments at AWS somewhat slowed down in 2Q20, Oracle’s deployments of servers with Ampere’s CPU ramped. There was also a good momentum for Fujitsu and Huawei’s Arm-based CPUs.
The group of White Box Vendors, including Wiwynn, QCT (Quanta), Tyan (MiTAC), and Ingrasys (Foxconn), continued to lead the market as hyperscale cloud service providers remained steadfast in their expansion. All North American hyperscale cloud service providers increased their purchasing quarter-over-quarter with Microsoft, Amazon and Apple being particularly active. As a result, White Box Vendors gained market shares in the quarter, maintaining their lead with a 26% revenue market share. Dell reported particularly strong performance, growing their revenue 4 percent quarter-over-quarter and 12 percent year-over-year.
Omdia found an interesting development in the quarter was Inspur almost beating HPE from a server shipments perspective. The US vendor shipped just nine thousand more servers than Inspur. From a revenue perspective, though, HPE had a solid quarter with strong growth in high-performance compute and mission-critical deals. In fact, HPE indicated that their order books for high performance computing business now exceed $2.5 billion.