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My Thoughts on Cadence in the Cloud

My Thoughts on Cadence in the Cloud
by Daniel Nenni on 04-03-2019 at 12:00 pm

The cloud is a highly popular term that a lot of people don’t fully understand. If you are one of those people please read on as I will share my experience, observations, and opinions. Even if you are a cloud aficionado you may want to catch up on what’s new with EDA cloud services so again read on.

When we first started SemiWiki 9 years ago we chose a host with what was called a virtual server. The hosting company was an expert on applications based on the MySQL database software which made it an easy choice for us since we were first time cloud residents. A virtual server is something we shared with others that also promised scalability for future growth. SemiWiki quickly exceeded expectations so our host migrated us to a private cloud server that we continued to upgrade.

Recently we moved SemiWiki 1.0 to one of the top three cloud providers for improved bandwidth, uptime, and scalability as SemiWiki 2.0 is coming soon with a couple of big surprises. Moving from a private cloud to a public one was a lot less trouble than one might expect. It was like removing Band-aids versus having cosmetic surgery. Cloud pricing thus far is significantly less for us and the available cloud tools, scalability, and the additional security opens up a whole host of business opportunities for SemiWiki, absolutely.

Cadence has been in the cloud for many years starting with Virtual CAD (VCAD) more than 20 years ago, Hosted Design Solutions (HDS) 10 years ago, and the Cadence Cloud announcement last year with TSMC, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google as partners. Yesterday they announced the Cloudburst Platformwhich is another important EDA step towards full cloud implementation. So please give credit where credit is due, Cadence is THE EDA cloud pioneer and that will continue.

At CDNLive I had another chat with Craig Johnson, VP of Cloud Development, for a Cadence cloud update. Craig is a no-nonsense guy who will answer your questions straight up. Craig started his career with 10+ years at Intel and has been at Cadence for almost 15 years. Cloud adoption is still ramping up but remember, Cadence has been working towards this for more than 20 years so you won’t find a better EDA cloud partner. For me the EDA cloud question is not IF, it is WHEN, if we want better chips faster for continued semiconductor industry growth.

Here is the relevant verbiage from the press release:

The Cadence CloudBurst platform enables companies of all sizes to build upon the standard benefits of the broader Cadence Cloud portfolio—improved productivity, scalability, security and flexibility—with a deployment option that delivers a hybrid cloud environment in just a day or two after initial purchase versus the typical timeframes for internally provided cloud solutions that can take weeks to deploy. It offers customers a production-proven, Cadence-managed environment for compute-intensive EDA workloads with no tool installation or cloud set-up required so that engineers can stay focused on completing critical, revenue-generating design projects.

Additional benefits systems and semiconductor companies can achieve with the Cadence CloudBurst platform include:

  • Ability to address today’s design challenges:The platform provides convenient and secure browser-based access to the scale of cloud computing options and includes unique file-transfer technology that significantly accelerates the transfer speed of the massive files created by today’s complex system-on-chip (SoC) designs
  • Ease of deployment:The platform complements existing on-premises datacenter investments and enables CAD and IT teams to easily address peak needs by providing a hybrid environment without requiring prior cloud expertise
  • Access to a broad set of Cadence tools:The platform supports a range of cloud-ready tools including functional verification, circuit simulation, library characterization and signoff tools, which benefit from cloud-scale compute resources
  • Streamlined ordering process:Customers can utilize existing ordering and licensing systems, eliminating sometimes lengthy legal and administrative hassles so customers can begin using the cloud for design projects quickly

“Our vision is to continuously evolve our cloud offerings to remove barriers to adoption and make customers successful in their shift to the cloud regardless of legacy investments or level of cloud experience,” said Dr. Anirudh Devgan, president of Cadence. “By adding the CloudBurst platform to our Cadence Cloud portfolio, we’re providing customers with an unparalleled offering for hybrid cloud environments, which lets customers harness the full power of the cloud for SoC development.”

The broader Cadence Cloud portfolio consists of the new CloudBurst platform as well as the customer-managed Cloud Passport model and the Cadence-managed Cloud-Hosted Design Solution and Palladium ® Cloud solutions. The Cadence-managed offerings provide customers with solutions that fully support TSMC’s Open Innovation Platform Virtual Design Environment (OIP VDE). The portfolio offerings support the broader Cadence System Design Enablement strategy, which enables systems and semiconductor companies to create complete, differentiated end products more efficiently.

“We successfully ran more than 500 million instances flat using the fully distributed Cadence Tempus Timing Signoff Solution on the CloudBurst platform via AWS to complete the tapeout of our latest TSMC 7nm networking chip. This would have been impossible to achieve in the required timeframe if we hadn’t deployed the Cadence hybrid cloud solution, which offered quick and easy access to the massive compute power we needed and a 10X productivity improvement over an on-premises static timing analysis approach for final signoff.”
-Dan Lenoski, chief development officer and co-founder, Barefoot Networks

“Optimizing a cloud architecture to support heavy-duty EDA workloads has been TSMC’s primary focus for delivering cloud-ready design solutions to customers jointly with our Cloud Alliance partners. This new offering from Cadence has met TSMC’s goal of the OIP VDE simplifying cloud adoption and demonstrated its ability to provide innovative service to our mutual customers with secure access to a simple-to-create, cloud-based environment that allows cloud bursting for peak needs, as well as accelerated completion of specific functions including simulation, signoff and library characterization without the typical challenges associated with hybrid cloud use models. We’re already seeing customers achieve productivity gains and look forward to seeing many more successes.”
-Suk Lee, senior director of Design Infrastructure Management Division, TSMC

“More IC design companies are choosing to host their entire EDA workload in the cloud, but companies who have large datacenters at the core of their compute infrastructure may find hybrid cloud environments as a compelling starting point in their journey to the cloud. By utilizing the Cadence CloudBurst platform, customers can easily leverage the scale of Microsoft Azure in order to meet their peak capacity requirements, thereby speeding up the time-to-market for their complex designs.”
-Rani Borkar, corporate vice president, Microsoft Azure

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