Overcoming Fixed Compute Capacity with Cloud-Based EDA

Venkata Ravella

Nov 07, 2022 / 3 min read

Synopsys Cloud

Unlimited access to EDA software licenses on-demand

Because of the increasing complexity of chip designs, developing a new chip can take months or even years if firms don’t forecast and install enough fixed compute capacity on-premises.

Two decades ago, a simulation could be run with only a handful of CPUs on a single server. These days, it requires partitioning a design and running multiple simulations simultaneously across dozens of CPUs. Few IT teams or data centers at chip manufacturers can keep up. 

If engineering teams don’t have the customized resources they need to complete each step in the chip design flow, development will slow down, and products will miss their launch dates. As a result, computing and resource limitations have become significant bottlenecks.

Modern chip design needs a high-performance computing (HPC) environment, which requires enormous capital investment in servers, networking equipment, data-center infrastructure, utilities, and IT staff. In addition, it takes time to specify, commission, setup, and provision servers. In the meantime, engineering teams are competing for capacity and are limited in their ability to do their jobs.

Understanding Cloud-Based HPC and Compute Capacity

Cloud computing can provide a scalable, elastic HPC environment with virtually unlimited compute cycles and storage. Engineering teams get immediate access to computing, storage, and analytics resources with the cloud when needed. After peak usage, capacity is returned to the cloud service provider until the next surge in demand.

Today, HPC is used to solve complex, performance-intensive problems. Cloud-based HPC lowers the cost of product development, accelerates testing, and reduces time to market in product development and research.

In addition, HPC drives electronic design automation (EDA)-based innovation. HPC improves EDA performance in the following ways: 

  • Optimized license utilization. More efficient use of EDA tools saves money and accelerates time-to-market for new chips since EDA tools are often among the most expensive line items. 
  • Improved productivity. By reducing job wait times and run times, HPC enhances the productivity of existing engineers instead of hiring and training more engineers.
  • Lower infrastructure cost. HPC reduces infrastructure costs, freeing up money for innovative research and development. 

Many cloud HPC services offer rapid elasticity that grows and shrinks to fit an organization’s EDA workload.

Advantages of Rapid Elasticity in EDA

Cloud computing provides rapid elasticity, which refers to its ability to scale quickly to meet demand. Rapid elasticity is an essential cloud characteristic, along with on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, and measured service.

According to the National Institute for Standards and Technology, rapid elasticity refers to capabilities that “can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.”

Rapid elasticity enables chip makers to carry out tasks such as library characterization in days instead of months with on-demand access to as much computing power as needed.

With rapid elasticity, organizations can scale up their EDA infrastructure in minutes. In contrast, expanding an on-premises network’s EDA capacity requires ordering more servers, waiting for the vendor to ship them, setting them up in the server room, and activating them.

Synopsys Cloud's Impact on EDA

Synopsys Cloud provides cloud-based EDA software built to leverage HPC, rapid elasticity, and other cloud characteristics to overcome fixed compute capacity that limits chip design and verification.

By reinventing and optimizing EDA workflows, Synopsys Cloud allows you to harness the full potential of cloud computing elasticity. With Synopsys products, elasticity is natively built in, making them ideal for cloud deployment.

Synopsys has partnered with industry-leading cloud providers so that you can efficiently deploy EDA in the cloud.

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.

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