Pioneering Seamless Interoperability on Cloud Across the Semiconductor Design Ecosystem

Vikram Bhatia

Oct 31, 2023 / 3 min read

Any business that aims to stand out in a competitive market will apply its own “special sauce” to its offerings. In the semiconductor industry, this phenomenon is also applicable. In the constant quest for differentiated designs delivering optimal power, performance, and area (PPA), chip design teams compete with their peers by utilizing a different set of tools and IP, deployed in a unique manner. As more designers migrate their design and verification workloads to the cloud, they expect to continue using their unique mix of tools, libraries, and process design kits (PDKs) in that environment.

However, system-to-system interoperability has not yet made its way into the narrative when deploying electronic design automation (EDA) workloads on cloud. With more chip design and verification workloads moving to the cloud, it is becoming increasingly urgent to ensure that products from different vendors can be accessed easily and securely from a common environment. To foster a more customer-friendly EDA-in-the-cloud experience, Synopsys is bringing together various semiconductor ecosystem players through the new Synopsys Cloud OpenLink program, the industry’s first multi-vendor-friendly environment of EDA, IP, and foundry providers on the Synopsys Cloud platform.

Enabling seamless interoperability and secure access to a diverse array of chip design and verification assets in the cloud, the Synopsys Cloud OpenLink program lets design teams focus on what they do best: developing better quality chips, faster. 

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Seamless, Secure Tool License Transfer to the Cloud

When running EDA tools in a cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) environment, the system is typically designed to be completely automated to do what the customer has prescribed. The Synopsys Cloud SaaS model, for instance, provides an end-to-end, browser-based chip design environment with unlimited access to Synopsys EDA products via its FlexEDA licensing technology. Chip designers can securely access software, hardware, and support, taking advantage of the elasticity, flexibility, and scalability of the cloud without having to build or maintain infrastructure or manage license servers.

Incorporating third-party tools and licenses into an existing cloud environment can bring a new level of complexity. For one provider to feel comfortable having their tools running on another provider’s cloud environment, there are a host of legal as well as technical considerations to iron out before everything is up and running. Having to address how each third-party tool will be deployed and used in the cloud creates significant hardships for the customer. It can take weeks or months—precious time that aggressive project schedules can’t afford to accommodate. In addition, without a defined process to transfer tool entitlements and licenses, companies are forced to rely on less-than-secure methods such as email.

With the Synopsys Cloud OpenLink program, the legal agreements and technical implementation between Synopsys and the participating providers are taken care of in advance. Fundamental to the program, Synopsys has released an open interoperability application programming interface (API) specification. Synopsys Cloud OpenLink program members can use this API for system-level technical integration to enable the secure and seamless transfer of entitlements and license keys to Synopsys Cloud. Mutual customers can then access tools, licenses, and IP from within their Synopsys Cloud environment instantly with a few simple clicks.

Ecosystem Participation

Several industry players across the semiconductor and cloud ecosystem have already signed up to participate in the Synopsys Cloud OpenLink program, including Microsoft, Keysight, Ansys, and GlobalFoundries. This program, with its open API, is available to all industry players who seek to collaborate to make our mutual customers’ jobs easier on the cloud. 

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By moving their EDA workloads to the cloud, chip designers gain the flexibility to tap into chip design and verification solutions as their projects dictate. The Synopsys Cloud OpenLink program further eases the cloud experience. With seamless interoperability for multi-vendor flows on Synopsys Cloud, customers gain easy access to EDA software, IP, and foundry collateral of their choice. Customers can continue using their preferred chip design and verification solutions, while benefiting from the advantages of cloud computing. As more chipmakers move their workloads to the cloud, demands for multi-vendor system-to-system interoperability will only grow louder. Through close collaboration, Synopsys and other semiconductor industry players are creating an EDA-as-a-service environment that is giving customers new levels of design freedom. 

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