Cloud Is Critical For Driving Semicon Industry's Growth

by Divya Makhija    Sep 20, 2018

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With the advancing technologies, the semiconductor industry is under constant pressure to develop new products and at a faster pace to meet the growing demands. In a recent interaction with CXOToday, Carl Siva, Vice President of Information Technology, Cloud at Cadence Design Systems, to understand the landscape of semiconductor industry and how it is adopting cloud to stay ahead in the race.  

CXOToday: Please tell us a bit about Cadence.

Carl SivaCadence enables electronic systems and semiconductor companies to create end products more efficiently through its System Design Enablement strategy. It provides software, hardware and IP to help customers develop everything from chips to boards to systems for mobile, consumer, cloud datacenter, automotive, aerospace, IoT, industrial and other market segments. The category of products Cadence delivers is commonly known as Electronic Design Automation (EDA).

CXOToday: Could you throw some light on the overall landscape for electronic systems and semiconductors?

Carl SivaSystems and semiconductor companies are under extreme pressure to deliver new products faster and more efficiently. And the pressure continues to become more intense as new products get more complex while schedules remaining fixed. The traditional approach to closing this gap involves more powerful software deployed on a high-performance compute infrastructure. Engineering teams struggle to meet compute needs when they are limited by the finite space and capacity of on-premise datacenters. Despite this widening compute gap, engineers have to meet product design deadlines and delivery expectations regardless of limited infrastructure, hampering productivity. By moving electronic design projects to the cloud, customers can effectively bridge the compute gap, improve productivity and shorten time to market.

CXOToday: What do you think is the role of the cloud adoption in the semiconductor industry and why has it been slow when compared with other industries?

Carl Siva:  The cloud is critical for driving the electronics industry forward because it offers customers improved productivity, scalability, flexibility and security. Companies of all sizes will now have the ability to design in the cloud and get to market faster. There have been historical barriers to adopting the cloud that are unique to the electronics industry when compared with other industries. Some of the limitations included security – especially of business critical proprietary IP, the sheer amount of data and the storage requirements, the tools and solutions available in the market in the early adoption period and architectures with limited scalability. However, Cadence has taken a leadership position in addressing these EDA challenges head-on, and cloud is now a viable option for the semiconductor industry to address server constraints.

CXOToday: How is Cadence helping organizations overcome challenges and complexities with the help of cloud?

Carl SivaPrior to launching the Cadence Cloud portfolio, Cadence gained experience with the cloud by supporting both hosted customers and in-house engineers. We hosted design environments for 100+ customers over the last 10 years to assess their challenges first-hand. This gave us the expertise needed to make product offerings on the cloud, a reality and addressing challenges with cloud adoption—security, scalability, storage and network expectations. This ultimately led to the development of Cadence cloud portfolio making it a first of its kind offering for the EDA industry. The portfolio includes both customer-managed and Cadence-managed options.

The customer-managed option is designed for customers who establish and manage their own IT/ business relationships with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure. As part of this, there is a Cadence Cloud Passport model that includes cloud-ready software tools and a cloud-based license server for high reliability. 

The Cadence-managed option consists of the Cadence Cloud-Hosted Design Solution, a portal to ease setup and the Cadence Palladium Cloud Solution. We’ve built strong partnerships with foundries and have passed stringent security requirements, helping our customers overcome obstacles in adopting cloud. Also, the company’s Cloud-Hosted Design Solution provides software tools in a fully-supported, managed and EDA-optimized design environment built on AWS or Microsoft. Additionally, Cadence introduced the Cadence Palladium Cloud Solution, a directly delivered, cloud-based emulation solution that easily addresses peak needs of existing Palladium customers and brings emulation hardware access and benefits to new customers and markets.

CXOToday: Please share a bit about your partnership with Microsoft, AWS and Google, and how is it going to benefit start-ups, small companies and enterprises.

Carl SivaCadence offers unique technologies and automation capabilities to its customers utilizing the Cadence solutions to enhance the usability of AWS, the Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure environments. Startups and small companies benefit from this option as it reduces the need for capital infrastructure investments. Customers utilizing the Cadence Cloud Passport model can access their cloud-ready Cadence software tools that have been enhanced and tested for use in different cloud environments.

CXOToday: What are your plans in the next 1-2 years?

Carl SivaWe plan to help customers take advantage of the cloud through our offerings. Each company has a unique set of challenges, so collaboration is essential. As we encounter new opportunities, we will adjust our offerings and models accordingly. Transition to the cloud will be an ongoing focus, and Cadence will invest in solutions and partnerships to make our customers successful.