Cadence aims for tactical cloud usage

1 min read

Cadence Design Systems has set up a second cloud-based service in an attempt to entice users who want extra compute capacity to run tools with high runtime demands but who cannot easily incorporate cloud computing into their existing EDA environments.

Craig Johnson, vice president of cloud business development at Cadence said customers have looked at using cloud computing to run tools that need tens or even hundreds of processors to complete in a reasonable time but who have encountered problems with making the transition.

"What makes it challenging in our space is that EDA is extremely complex. Many have significant investments in their compute environment and the flow is often tightly coupled to their IT solution,” Johnson said.

Cadence’s answer is to have the remote tools access through a web browser. The emphasis is on tools that can be deployed tactically with minimal effect on the overall flow. Design files are copied to the cloud for processing and the results copied back so that they can be used an inputs for locally run jobs. "The approach doesn't require any IT involvement on the customer side: it's 100 percent web-based," Johnson said.

Although using web-based access reduces the IT overhead, the approach still calls for large files – often terabytes in sized – to be moved around quickly. To try to avoidbottlenecks caused by running transfers through one connection, the upload and download mechanism is akin to that of BitTorrent. The files are broken down into chunks, encrypted and then relayed using multiple machines on the client's networks.

"If you try to move all that data around and you don't have the right transfer technology, the compute capacity is no use to you," Johnson said.

The launch of CloudBurst coincides with the launch of a tool that exemplifies the kind of workload that Cadence has in mind for the service. Clarity is a 3D field solver designed to spread the load of simulation across hundreds of nodes so that it can tackle the electrical interactions that affect high-speed connections through a large system, such as a rack-mounted server or a vehicle chassis.