The Role Cloud-Based Technology Plays in Chip Design | Synopsys Cloud
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Thanks to big data and growing market pressure from expanding applications, chip design complexity is soaring. High-performance and low-power chips have further advanced chip design complexity. Cloud-based technology has become an excellent tool for creating and testing these modern chips.


Benefits of Cloud-Based Technology for Chip Design

Scalability 

Moving your chip design work to the cloud provides you with instant access to vast amounts of compute and storage resources. Since the demand for computing resources varies both cyclically and unpredictably throughout the chip design process, scalability is essential. 

Cloud providers offer automated provisioning and easy to manage environments, simplifying the process for chip design teams. Designers can easily activate however many machines they need for timing analysis and physical verification. Once they complete each step, they can return the resources to the cloud and stop the charges. 

Productivity 

With cloud-based technology, chip designers have instant access to compute and storage resources, enabling simultaneous testing while helping boost efficiency. The cloud allows companies to focus on their core products rather than update their computing environments. Traditional models perpetuate chronic capacity and demand mismatch, resulting in engineers or servers sitting idle during considerable portions of the design cycle. Similarly, traditional models can impair productivity and delay product launches.

Predictability and Transparency 

The chip design process becomes predictable and transparent when moving EDA to the cloud. The cloud consolidates EDA tools and methodologies into a unified platform—a single pane of glass for the entire design flow. Better visibility allows for a more predictable process. You can fix issues early, get your products to market on time, and stay on track with your company’s product roadmap. Plus, early warnings mean a better chance of solving problems.

Advanced Tools 

The chip industry is constantly under pressure to innovate. A cloud service provider can guide this innovation by offering sophisticated tools and services that are ready to go right out of the box. Instead of spending time and money creating their own artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) projects, chip designers can work with these prebuilt tools and concentrate on their designs. 

Designers use tools from all over the EDA ecosystem to accomplish multiple tasks simultaneously. By removing compute and storage constraints while leveraging cloud-native tools, organizations can break down existing silos between research, design, and development teams and consumers.

Security 

For cloud providers, security is a core competency. Chip designers have traditionally resisted cloud adoption because of security concerns, yet cloud providers spend far more on security than any one enterprise does. They offer a broad selection of automated tools and best practices, such as data encryption in motion and at rest. They also make significant security investments to protect customers against threats. Cloud providers employ larger security teams than the average company's IT staff.

Cost Savings 

Overall, transitioning to cloud-based technology can save you money. For start-ups, it might make sense to fully move to the cloud and enjoy the benefits of an accessible support system. Enterprise semiconductor companies, however, might rely upon a hybrid cloud model to augment their on-premises data centers. 

Cloud computing resources will reduce capital expenditures and keep costs down year-round, especially since data centers are designed and sized for peak usage.


How To Leverage Cloud-Based Technology

How enterprises choose to deploy chip design workloads depends on many factors, particularly where they are on their corporate journey. Taking a strategic approach to cloud-based technology is essential to unlocking its value.

Consider taking the following actions:

  • Decide which workloads make sense in the cloud. EDA workloads require specific hardware. To achieve optimal performance, you must match the workload to the correct instance.
  • Pay close attention to data costs. Consider data management when deciding what workloads transition to the cloud and what remains on-premises.
  • Think value. Start moving capacity to the cloud as soon as the cloud infrastructure becomes cheaper.
  • Start small. You should run a pilot project to learn how the cloud works, discover where your problems exist, and make any mistakes on a smaller scale.
  • Don't go solo. To pivot successfully, you should seek guidance from software vendors, cloud providers, and system integrators to ensure a seamless transition.

Of course, moving EDA to the cloud requires more than simply swapping on-premises hardware for cloud software requires the same flexibility and elasticity. By enabling chip designers to harness the full power of the cloud, Synopsys Cloud is reinventing and optimizing electronic design automation workflows to ensure maximum performance.


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

Sridhar Panchapakesan is the Senior Director, Cloud Engagements at Synopsys, responsible for enabling customers to successfully adopt cloud solutions for their EDA workflows. He drives cloud-centric initiatives, marketing, and collaboration efforts with foundry partners, cloud vendors and strategic customers at Synopsys. He has 25+ years’ experience in the EDA industry and is especially skilled in managing and driving business-critical engagements at top-tier customers. He has a MBA degree from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley and a MSEE from the University of Houston.

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