Comparing Cloud and On-Premises Security for Chip Design

Venkata Ravella

Jul 03, 2022 / 3 min read

Synopsys Cloud

Unlimited access to EDA software licenses on-demand

When designing chips in the cloud, you might find yourself asking: Is the cloud more secure than on-premises development? To answer this question, we will compare on-premises and cloud security to examine which is best for chip design and verification.

On-premises security refers to protecting the security and accessibility of computer networks, including hardware and software, at an organization’s facilities. Firewalls, virtual private networks, and antivirus software are all examples of on-premises security tools. On-premises security also includes the physical security of servers and other equipment.

Cloud security is a combination of procedures, technologies, policies, and controls that protect cloud-based data and equipment. Cloud security serves as a centralized method to protect sensitive data, support compliance efforts, and set authentication policies. By relying upon a shared responsibility model, cloud security splits accountability for the security environment between the cloud provider and the customer.

Evaluating the Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud and On-Premises Security

Let’s take a brief look at the pros and cons of both types of security to discover which is best-suited for chip design and verification. 



On-premises security provides a unique set of advantages and challenges. Let's delve into the specifics to understand its impact on chip design and verification.


  • Keeps security of data and IP within your control
  • Configures and customizes security to meet your particular needs
  • Coordinates physical and IT security
  • Stores data encryption keys behind your firewall, enhancing security


  • Must invest in tools and trained personnel
  • Scaling capacity is slow
  • Constant need to monitor and maintain security tools and status
  • Must pay for data and network backup
The Cloud

Cloud security offers a different landscape of benefits and potential obstacles. Here's a detailed examination of what it entails for chip design and verification.


  • No significant investment in on-premises security tools and staff
  • Cloud security is comprehensive and holistic cloud security
  • Cloud security is scalable for all data and highly automated
  • Can access files securely anywhere on any device
  • Peace of mind knowing cloud providers have invested millions of dollars in security tools
  • Data and network backup capabilities is provided


  • Pay per use, so operational expenses could get out of hand
  • Shared responsibility model could create gaps in security
  • Security is not always customizable to your needs
  • Compliance with security and privacy regulations is still your responsibility

Impact on Chip Design Security

For chip designers, security is especially vital due to the valuable IP used in the process. Unfortunately, chip security is becoming more complex, expensive, and resource-intensive.

Although cloud providers have improved security dramatically, startups and chip designers still feel some trepidation about developing chips in the cloud. Many companies believe designing and securing chips on-premises seems less risky.

Cloud security, however, is actually the safer choice if you don’t have the resources and staff to invest in on-premises security tools to meet the changing requirements of chip security.

The cloud is generally secure, but it is essential for users to create and maintain a secure environment for chip design and verification projects. To protect your data and IP in a cloud environment, you should:

  • Activate multifactor authentication
  • Provide your own encryption keys
  • Limit access to your data by IP address
  • Make sure your cloud provider is audited

Cloud-based chip design and verification cannot succeed without strong security. Therefore, you need to incorporate security into the chip design process from the beginning.

Synopsys Enables Secure Chip Design in the Cloud

Synopsys Cloud offers a range of design and verification solutions in the cloud, supported by our industry-leading commitment to security. We provide comprehensive cloud security for our cloud-optimized EDA and IP solutions.

Innovative security technologies like Black Duck and Coverity help us protect you against vulnerabilities. We build all of our products with security in mind. We also provide secure software development lifecycles, a culture of security, and world-class software assurance.

Synopsys, EDA, and the Cloud

Synopsys is the industry’s largest provider of electronic design automation (EDA) technology used in the design and verification of semiconductor devices, or chips. With Synopsys Cloud, we’re taking EDA to new heights, combining the availability of advanced compute and storage infrastructure with unlimited access to EDA software licenses on-demand so you can focus on what you do best – designing chips, faster. Delivering cloud-native EDA tools and pre-optimized hardware platforms, an extremely flexible business model, and a modern customer experience, Synopsys has reimagined the future of chip design on the cloud, without disrupting proven workflows.


Take a Test Drive!

Synopsys technology drives innovations that change how people work and play using high-performance silicon chips. Let Synopsys power your innovation journey with cloud-based EDA tools. Sign up to try Synopsys Cloud for free!

About The Author

Venkata Ravella is vice president of Information Technology at Synopsys, where he leads a world-class IT infrastructure team that has built large-scale engineering and business infrastructure on private and public clouds. Over the last 25+ years, he has held various roles in IT, with the majority of his time focused on engineering environment and infrastructure. He has in-depth experience building high-performing engineering environments, both on-prem and in-cloud, with an emphasis on reliability, scalability, and security at their core.

Continue Reading