Cloud computing was the subject of much interest and discussion at this year’s DAC. While I acknowledge that the cloud will play an increasingly important role in our business, its displacement of today’s semiconductor design practices is easily a decade or more away.
The attraction of the cloud is to increase one’s access to raw computing power and software. If you need more speed, or a specialized program, just grab it and go. But the hard work and differentiation for our customers is still done in the trenches, not up in the sky. They are not about to put their proprietary designs on some server, somewhere, or give up their customized and optimized design flows. What can we in EDA do for them today to help with increased design complexity and the need for higher performance?
For me the answer lies in maximizing throughput by leveraging the advantages of parallel computing. This is also a subject of great debate within our community, often involving the technical difficulties of parallelizing EDA software (particularly legacy software) and its impact on traditional business models. These are real challenges, but so are the benefits to our users when we get it right.