With the complexity of transistors at an all-time high and growing foundry rule decks, fabless companies consistently find themselves in a game of catch-up. Semiconductor designs require additional compute resources to maintain speed and quality of development. But deploying new infrastructures at this current speed is a tall order for IT professionals tasked with supporting development and verification teams. When these resources can’t keep up, engineers become compute constrained rather than compute empowered.
The semiconductor industry is not alone in the struggle to adopt new technologies that can accelerate the pace of science and engineering breakthroughs. For that reason, cloud solutions are increasingly being implemented to empower R&D in a way never before seen. Breakthroughs in aerospace design, new drugs and vaccines, alternative energy solutions, and much more are now being realized on cloud or cloud HPC infrastructures. Because of security and IP concerns, EDA companies have primarily maintained on-premise data centers for their computing needs. However, that preference is changing due to manufacturers such as TSMC endorsing cloud. The industry has also seen a rise in startups entering the industry that do not have the infrastructure of their own and are turning to the cloud to compete.
So let’s look at the main benefits of expanding EDA to a cloud HPC environment.
As companies look to move workloads to the cloud, the primary area of focus is how to protect sensitive information and IP. Recent research by Cloud Vision states, two-thirds of companies consider this the main roadblock in adopting cloud. In light of this, major cloud providers have put substantial focus and investment to reduce risks and safeguard datacenters from any breach. As you can imagine, with companies like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, no expense is spared to ensure they deliver a secure environment. As proof of these security measures, the public cloud will experience 60% fewer security incidents compared to typical data centers this year. For organizations that require full-stack compliance and security, platforms such as Rescale cover end-to-end workflows across the hardware and software layers with the highest of industry standards. Even going as far as obtaining industry-leading certifications to meet the strictest compliance requirements.
Never in our history has technological agility been more important than 2020. Facing a pandemic was the ultimate test of our systems and most companies found themselves not prepared. Being cut off from typical on-premise infrastructure caused delays across the industry. VPNs became overwhelmed as engineers struggled to access the data and resources needed to continue development and run verification. The need to enable remote teams is not the only consideration. Systems need to have the flexibility to scale with phases of projects and production deadlines. For these reasons, cloud far outperforms traditional infrastructures. It’s accessible anywhere you can find a wifi connection and compute resources scale as needed. The Rescale platform also offers remote desktop solutions and a wide variety of admin controls over budgets and permissions to keep operations running smoothly. With the stability and options of a multi-cloud infrastructure and a variety of core types available on the platform, users can match the ideal core type to their workload and be confident in the stability of the infrastructure with a service level agreement that their job will run.
Impact and Productivity
Enabling engineers to focus on design means better products at a quicker pace. IT leaders need to look at the ways in which engineers are distracted or slowed from their core responsibilities. Companies spend top dollar to secure engineering expertise and talent and they should be working on the portion of the business where they will make the biggest impact. Distractions can come in the form of queues, slow workflows, license issues, and more. Rescale looks to solve these issues with an intelligent control plane and full-stack approach. Having an intelligent control plane for both local and cloud hardware allows R&D the ability to divert workloads to the best infrastructure based on performance and cost. A simple user interface with robust automation allows them to easily set up runs without relying on IT. And if they do come across a challenge, the Rescale support team is stacked with HPC and simulation experts that average a 15 min response time. All of this combines to allow engineers to be hyper-focused on what they do best.
Speed to Market
A major component of gaining a competitive advantage is to be first to market with a new product. This allows you to gain brand recognition, build customer loyalty, and secure market share before competitors are even in play. A cloud approach enables semiconductor companies to dial up the number of iterations and accelerate speed to answer. Additionally, verification is expedited with virtually unlimited resources available. When coupled with automated workflows, templates, and continuous optimization from the Rescale platform, companies can make substantial improvements.
pSemi used Rescale to substantially speed up their development process, “We were able to use Rescale’s cloud platform to highly parallelize our simulations and bring the simulation time down from 7 days to 15 hours. We’ve demonstrated a 10x speed improvement on numerous occasions in our EM simulations using Rescale…”
The next wave of semiconductor advancements will be powered by the cloud. The foundries have already started to adopt the technology. It is poised to revolutionize the industry by empowering engineers like never before and reaching new levels of performance and efficiency.