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Everyone keeps talking about “the cloud” this and “the cloud” that these days—but you’re a semiconductor designer. Everyone keeps saying “the cloud” is revolutionizing all aspects of electronics design—but what does it mean for you? Cadence's own Tom Hackett discussed this in a presentation at the Cadence Theater during DAC 2019.
What people refer to as “the cloud” is commonly divided into three categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and software as a Service (SaaS). With IaaS, you bring your own software—i.e. loading your owned or appropriately licensed tools onto cloud hardware that you rent by the minute. This service is available from providers like Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Service, and Microsoft Azure. In PaaS (also available from the major cloud providers), you create your own offering using capabilities and a software design environment provided by the cloud vendor that makes subsequent scaling and distribution really easy because the service was “born in the cloud”. Lastly, there’s SaaS, where the cloud is used to access and manage functionality and data without requiring users to set up or manage any of the underlying infrastructure used to provide it. SaaS companies like Workday and Salesforce deliver their value in this manner. The Cadence Cloud portfolio makes use of both IaaS and SaaS, depending on the customers’ interest. Cadence doesn’t have PaaS offerings because our customers don’t create their own EDA software from building blocks that Cadence provides.
All of these designations are great, but you’re a semiconductor designer. Presumably you use Workday or some similar software, or have in the past when you were an intern, but what about all of your tools? Those aren’t on the cloud.
Wait—actually, they are.
Using EDA tools in the cloud allows you to address complexity and data explosion issues you would have to simply struggle through before. Since you don’t have to worry about having the compute-power on-site, you can use way more power than you could before. You may be wary about this new generation of cloud-based tools, but don’t worry: the old rules of cloud computing no longer apply. Cloud capacity is far larger than it used to be, and it’s more secure. Updates to scheduling software means that resource competition isn’t as big of a deal anymore. Clouds today have nearly unlimited capacity—they’re so large that you don’t ever need to worry about running out of space.
The vast increase in raw compute available to designers through the cloud makes something like automotive functional safety verification, previously an extremely long verification task, doable in a reasonable time frame. With the cloud, it’s easy to scale the amount of compute you’re using to fit your task—whether it’s an automotive functional safety-related design or a small one.
Nowadays, the Cadence Cloud Portfolio brings you the best and brightest in cloud technology. No matter what your use case is, the Cadence Cloud Portfolio has a solution that works for you. You can even access the Palladium Cloud, allowing you to try out the benefits of an accelerator without having to buy one.
Cloud computing is the future of EDA. See the future here.