Mentium Accelerates Tape-out of AI Accelerator Chip for Space Applications on Synopsys Cloud

Anuj Pant

Apr 04, 2024 / 3 min read

For Mentium Technologies, AI at the edge extends into deep space, as its AI co-processors are designed for mission-critical applications. The Santa Barbara, California-based company’s engineers have designed its hardware to deliver cloud-quality inference at ultra-low power for space, robotics, and security applications.

Designing such complex chips on an aggressive schedule can be challenging from a resource standpoint. Mentium’s mission-critical designs would also benefit from faster iterations for extensive verification and robust quality. The team turned to cloud-based chip design and verification technologies as a solution; however, license constraints prevented them from tapping into the advantages of the cloud for peak EDA workloads. That is, until the Mentium team found its true answer in the Synopsys Cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution.

Synopsys Cloud provides cloud-native EDA tools and pre-optimized hardware platforms to support chip design from end to end. The SaaS deployment provides access to all essential EDA software, hardware, IP and scheduling via a browser window. The Synopsys Cloud FlexEDA business model comes with two licensing options. The pay-per-use (PPU) option is a usage-based licensing approach offering by-the-minute pricing for EDA tools, while a cloud subscription license (CSL) option is term-based and requires upfront payment. Both PPU and CSL options use cloud credits. Synopsys Cloud can also be deployed through a Bring-Your-Own-Cloud (BYOC) model.

“We were at risk of missing a tape-out because of the inability to scale compute and storage resources on demand,” said Mirko Prezioso, CEO, Mentium Technologies. “Synopsys came to our rescue by introducing the Synopsys Cloud SaaS solution, providing not only EDA software tools, but also the entire CAD/IT infrastructure. We were amazed to see the capabilities of Synopsys Cloud with an all-in-one browser-based platform providing access to unlimited, on-demand EDA and compute resources. Under FlexEDA, both traditional and novel pay-per-use software access (by the minute) removed licensing constraints without affecting budgets and spending upfront. Within a few weeks, we were fully confident about the maturity of the Synopsys Cloud platform and how it can help us meet our immediate tape-out schedule date.”

Prezioso continued, “We were able to deliver our first tape-out on time and worked on pulling in the schedule for the next tape-out, to be delivered to our Alpha site at NASA." 

Synopsys Cloud is a one-stop shop for our entire chip design project. It brings EDA, IP, CAD/IT resources, and overall project management capabilities together for a seamless and complete design experience."

Mirko Prezioso


CEO, Mentium Technologies

edge ai accelerator space

On-Demand, Pay-Per-Use Cloud EDA Access

Mentium’s AIM technology consists of hybrid in-memory and digital computation that delivers 100x the speed and 50x the efficiency of current state-of-the-art solutions. As a bolt-on solution for existing systems, the technology enables design teams to achieve dependable, high-quality AI at the edge. To develop its AI co-processors, the team recognized that having scalable, on-demand access to compute and storage resources would be beneficial given the EDA workload fluctuations that are typical of such projects. Synopsys Cloud provides this scalability and elasticity.

“Just like our AIM technology that focuses on the highest AI precision with dependability, throughput, and efficiency, Synopsys Cloud provides the most dependable, productive, and complete EDA SaaS environment for designing chips,” said Prezioso. “With an intuitive UI/UX coupled with on-demand compute, storage, and true pay-per-use EDA access, Synopsys Cloud allows us to harness the full potential of the cloud for EDA workloads to complete designs faster and with improved quality.”

Ramping Up with Expert Support

In addition to using the design and verification flows available through Synopsys Cloud, Mentium also appreciated the expertise of Synopsys’ worldwide support team. “One of our challenges from the start was bringing team members up to speed to meet our tape-out requirements,” said Farnood Merrikh Bayat, CTO and co-founder at Mentium. “The Synopsys sales, technical support, and R&D teams worked together to help us become familiar with the platform. We are fully convinced Synopsys Cloud offers an excellent platform to develop our current and future SoC designs.”

Read other Synopsys Cloud customer success stories here. 

Continue Reading