Synopsys boosts chip design with cloud platform

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Synopsys has teamed with Microsoft to launch a pay-as-you-go cloud platform that it says has all the tools needed for chip design.

The cloud-optimized electronic design automation (EDA) deployment model provides the Synopsys design and verification tools with pre-optimized infrastructure on Microsoft Azure. The pre-configured tool flow helps to address higher levels of interdependencies between the different elements of chip development, through design, synthesis, verification and sign-off

More chipmakers are migrating workloads to the cloud to take full advantage of the faster time-to-results with the ability to scale the underlying processing to balance the cost-of-results.

Rather than having to set up complex design tools on cloud infrastructure, designers can directly access and pay as they go for cloud compute resources and for any Synopsys cloud-enabled design and verification product via a service called FlexEDA. Customers who already have their own cloud resources on Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud can also take advantage of Synopsys Cloud and its pay-per-use cloud-enabled EDA tools.

The platform offers RTL and gate-level simulation with the VCS and VIP tools, as well as static timing analysis with golden timing signoff through the PrimeTime tool. Physical Verification is supported with IC Validator to provide a robust, optimized flows for RTL to signoff.

However chip designers have been wary of using public cloud services in order to protect their IP. The Synopsys Cloud offers security by design based on the Synopsys software integrity platform with data encryption in transit and at rest, and multi-factor authentication with role-based access. There is also a dedicated virtual network with workload protection, vulnerability management, and 24×7 incident response.

Synopsys is also working with the major foundries – TSMC, Samsung and Global Foundries – to streamline access to required manufacturing collateral for use with its cloud-optimized products. The roadmap for the collaboration aims to provide customers with a flexible, cloud-optimized approach for accessing and managing foundry collateral.

“Our new Synopsys Cloud offering promises to be transformative, providing designers the ability to scale up or down in response to their dynamic chip design and verification needs,” said Sassine Ghazi, president and chief operating officer at Synopsys. “As more design flows incorporate AI, requiring even more resources, the virtually unlimited compute and EDA access we’re providing will lay the foundation for new levels of semiconductor innovation while delivering a flexible, secure chip development environment for future demands.”

Rani Borkar, Corporate Vice President, Azure Hardware Systems & Infrastructure at Microsoft added, “Addressing systemic complexity along with interdependent design flows in chip design requires more compute and EDA resources than ever before. Microsoft Azure continues to scale its high-performance computing infrastructure with the availability, affordability and capacity to handle advanced chip design and verification workloads. The Synopsys Cloud software-as-a-service solution has been purpose-built on Microsoft Azure for EDA workloads, delivering a flexible design and verification environment to foster the productivity that design teams need.”

The platform runs on the latest AMD EPYC processors.

“Semiconductor companies are increasingly challenged to quickly deliver both complex functionality and energy efficiency to meet growing requirements for more compute,” said Mark Papermaster, executive vice president and CTO, AMD. “Innovative approaches like Synopsys Cloud built on the Microsoft Azure HBv3 cloud platform, powered by the latest third generation AMD EPYC Processors with 3D V-Cache technology, can provide access to optimized compute and EDA tools in the cloud, further adding to our innovative chip design capabilities.”

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