Cisco Accelerates Project Schedule by 66% Using Synopsys Cloud

Anuj Pant

Apr 18, 2024 / 2 min read

A global leader in internet protocol-based networking solutions, Cisco Systems delivers the foundation for the internet and most corporate, education, and government networks around the world. Its leading products and key technologies include advanced routing and switching, voice and video over IP, optical networking, wireless, storage networking, security, broadband, and content networking.

For a particular time-critical project, Cisco needed to complete library characterization in three months to meet the chip’s tape-out schedule. The design team faced a few challenges to its timeline. For one, there were long set-up times for its traditional electronic design automation (EDA) environment, along with limited compute capacity and scalability. Also, the licenses weren’t available on demand, making it difficult to accommodate fluctuations in EDA workloads that are typical in chip design projects.

To address its challenges, Cisco adopted Synopsys Cloud, which provides cloud-native EDA tools and pre-optimized hardware platforms. With Synopsys Cloud FlexEDA pay-per-use (PPU) licensing model, the design team gained access to unlimited, on-demand Synopsys PrimeLib unified library characterization and validation solution licenses.  

“Synopsys Cloud delivered enormous compute and EDA tool scalability to accelerate library characterization using Synopsys PrimeLib,” said Jon Stahl, senior director of ASIC Development at Cisco. “These resources were deployed rapidly, reducing the schedule for re-characterization from three months to one month.”

cloud eda tools library characterization

Earlier Starting Point with Full Utilization of Compute Resources

Cisco opted to use the Synopsys Cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployment, which provides the latest scalable and elastic compute resources through Microsoft Azure. Through the SaaS deployment, the Cisco team was able to jumpstart its design’s characterization flow on a leading process technology within a few days, rather than weeks. All of this was done with a single contract for both compute and EDA tools.

Within a week, the Cisco team scaled to a large number of cores with a peak utilization of 1,200 CPUs. By removing license constraints, unlimited, on-demand PPU licensing enabled full utilization of compute resources. These capabilities helped the team complete its characterization work two months earlier than expected.

“Having experienced the flexibility that Synopsys Cloud offers to add EDA tools and compute instantaneously based on our needs, we are investigating how we can leverage Synopsys Cloud for future projects to speed time to market and enhance productivity,” said Stahl.

Flexible EDA Software Licensing and Deployment Models

Synopsys Cloud has passed on all metrics for Cisco’s Vendor Security Assessment (VSA) and has been granted Cloud/Application Service Provider Remediation (CASPR) certification.

Through the FlexEDA business model, the Synopsys Cloud PPU option provides a usage-based licensing approach with metered pricing for EDA tools. A cloud subscription license (CSL) option involves cloud credits and upfront payment. In addition to the SaaS model, Synopsys Cloud can also be deployed through a Bring-Your-Own-Cloud (BYOC) model.

Read other Synopsys Cloud customer success stories here. 

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