Contact Cadence @ DAC 2018: Electronic systems and semiconductor design for cloud
Cadence Design Systems made a host of announcements at the ongoing 55th Design Automation Conference, at Moscone Center, San Francisco, USA. These are:
- Cadence delivers the first broad cloud portfolio for the development of electronic systems and semiconductors.
- Cadence collaborates with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deliver electronic systems and semiconductor design for the cloud.
- Cadence and Microsoft collaborate to facilitate semiconductor and system design on the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform.
- Cadence collaborates with Google Cloud to enable cloud-based development of electronic systems and semiconductors.
- Cadence launches Liberate Trio Characterization Suite employing machine learning and cloud optimizations.
I caught up with Carl Siva, VP of Information Technology, Cloud, Cadence Design Systems Inc. and Craig Johnson, VP of Cloud Business Development, Cadence Design Systems Inc., to find out more.
First, why has Cadence chosen to go the cloud way now?
Carl Siva said: “Designs are continuing to become more complex, process nodes are getting smaller, and the volume of chip design data is increasing exponentially, and creating peak compute needs. Traditional data center models of company-owned, -housed, and -managed cannot support peak needs.
“Cadence has been engaged with cloud vendors and customers on this topic for several years. Our decision to launch our portfolio now is based on the increased customer interest and their growing confidence in the security of the cloud. Cadence’s cloud approach has been proven internally. So, it was logical to draw upon that extensive experience to drive customer adoption, so that they can achieve the productivity, scalability, security and flexibility benefits of the cloud.”
The Cadence Cloud portfolio includes customer-managed and Cadence-managed cloud environments. What’s in there and how are they different?
Craig Johnson, VP of Cloud Business Development, Cadence Design Systems Inc., said: “The Cadence Cloud portfolio offerings are targeted toward small-, mid-sized and enterprise- systems and semiconductor companies, providing improved productivity, scalability, security and flexibility benefits. For example, the platform can enable customers to gain access to dedicated compute resources in as little as five minutes.
“With the Cadence Cloud-Hosted Design Solution (the Cadence-managed option), small companies benefit from this offering because it eliminates the need for a costly internal infrastructure and the overhead from a large Computer-aided design (CAD) and IT staff, allowing these companies to focus on chip design innovation.
“Mid- to large-sized companies also benefit because the Cadence-managed environment allows them to move an entire design project or team to offload the strain on their on-premise environments. It also includes the Palladium Cloud, a managed and scalable emulation environment for customers desiring to use our hardware without the responsibilities of equipment installation or maintenance.
“With the Cadence Cloud Passport model (the customer-managed option), mid- to large-sized companies that have the means to manage their own cloud infrastructure internally and small companies that are cloud-savvy can use Cadence software tools via their current IaaS provider.
“The Cadence Cloud Passport model includes the Cloud-ready Cadence software tools that have been tested for use in the cloud, a cloud-based license server for high reliability, and access to Cadence software through familiar download mechanisms.
Cadence also offered the Palladium Cloud solution, a fully-managed emulation solution. How is the emulation business doing, outside of cloud?
Carl Siva added that customers continue to embrace Palladium Z1 emulation technology because it provides a great mix of performance, ease-of-use across many use cases, and the capacity to handle the largest and most complex designs.
“The cloud model complements the traditional purchase model by either providing peak capacity to existing users, or allowing a new category of users to benefit from emulation. Cadence doesn’t comment on the business levels of our offerings outside of established channels.”
How are the connections with AWS and Microsoft going to work?
Craig Johnson noted: “We are already engaged with AWS with customers, and the partnership is going well. We offer our Cloud-Hosted Design Solution on AWS in a manner that is seamless for our customers. We have built a secure and scalable use model that allows our customers to focus their resources and energy on the design process instead of the IT or CAD work.
“Customers are provided with terminal-based access that Cadence connects to the cloud-based design environment. Customers launch jobs and manage their data as though it were in a private and exclusive data center.
“For the customer-managed model, Cadence is not directly involved in the set up or management of the AWS environment. Users choose this model because they desire to customize it to their own use requirements. Cadence enables this approach with our Passport model that provides cloud-ready tools. These are test in AWS and give customers confidence in their ability to deploy on AWS.
“Cadence is engaged with Microsoft in the same manner as with AWS.”
Finally, why is Cadence going into the IT space now? Is it also looking at enterprises?
Johnson said: “Cadence is focused on deployment options for semiconductor and systems in the cloud, and not in selling general IT solutions. Our offerings are suitable for companies of all sizes, including enterprises. Our Cloud portfolio is flexible, secure, and scalable which leads to higher productivity for our customers.”