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A historic data center quarter with over 15% of servers running on AMD

10 August, 2021 | Vladimir Galabov

data center rack_shutterstock_1062915266

The second quarter of 2020 was the strongest second quarter the data center market has ever recorded. Server shipments in what is seasonally a weak period exceeded 3.4 million units. Despite this record baseline, first data points on 2Q21 indicate server shipments exceeded 3.4 million units yet again. 

Demand for data center compute continues to be strong and we believe 2Q21 would have been even stronger had it not been for semiconductor supply shortages. We saw strong indication that shortages in CPU substrate materials and other components impacted server supply in 2Q21. This seems to have impacted Intel in particular with AMD gaining share in the quarter.

AMD set their own record, for the first time crossing the 15% server market share threshold. It looks like demand from hyperscale cloud service providers, and Google in particular, has been a big contributing factor for AMD’s strong performance. The historic best AMD performance in the data center server market was in 2006 when 14% of the servers shipped were configured with an AMD CPU. 2Q21 indeed proves that the EPYC roadmap is highly competitive. 

In 2Q21, servers with arm-based CPUs again made up about 4% of the total server shipped. Last quarter we raised our long-term forecast for servers with Arm-based CPUs and now expect 14% of server in 2025 to run on Arm. In our research so far we’ve covered the Amazon and Oracle investments in Arm-based CPU technology in a lot of detail. In 2Q21, Huawei publicised the installation of servers based on their Arm CPU, Kunpeng 920, in Moscow to be used as a software development test-bed, academic purposes and scientific research. 

server shipments by CPU type

OMDIA’s server market tracker and analysis will be published in the September 2021 and will include server vendor share for 2Q21, a 5-year forecast for servers by end-user segment, CPU, co-processor, form factor and region. It ships as a part of our Data Center Compute Intelligence Service.


Vladimir Galabov, Head of Cloud and Data Center Research Practice

Vlad is responsible for the cloud and data center research practice’s expanding roadmap, focused on disruptive trends such as the shift to edge computing, the evolution of compute silicon, and the need for efficiency improvements and sustainability in the data center industry. Read bio

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