Automated License Management on Synopsys Cloud

Varun Shah

Nov 01, 2023 / 4 min read

Synopsys Cloud

Unlimited access to EDA software licenses on-demand

In today’s semiconductor landscape, time-to-market is everything. In the pursuit of meeting tight schedules, chip design houses constantly seek the right engineering expertise, EDA solutions, IP, and compute resources to optimize their workflows, boost engineering productivity, and streamline operations. A key aspect of running EDA workloads efficiently is acquiring/managing EDA licenses and maintaining license servers. In this blog, we’ll focus on this very crucial aspect.

The Burden of EDA License Management

We have learned from our customers that EDA license management is not trivial. It diverts valuable energy away from the core engineering task of designing chips and is a significant cost for our customers, as the process demands time, resources, and expertise.

License management entails a variety of tasks. It involves acquiring and installing license keys, keeping license servers running 24*7 to ensure there is no loss of the design team's productivity, and managing license expirations. Keeping license servers running 24*7 can be quite a challenge when new license keys are added. Users may suffer downtime as the server needs to be stopped and restarted to read in the new license file. Moreover, these servers need to scale up to cater to additional license demand to fulfill peak needs, say during tape-outs. This entails acquiring licenses and the addition of more servers, which is a manual process that incurs a heavy cost of lost time, management overhead, and additional server infrastructure.

A solution that can automate the overhead reliably could significantly improve engineering productivity.

License Management Automation on Synopsys Cloud

Synopsys Cloud provides hassle-free license management and addresses the challenges stated above for our customers in three ways:

1. License Management

On the Synopsys Cloud platform, license management is completely automated. It takes the burden of dealing with the intricacies of license management off chip design teams, whether they’re running EDA tools on:

  1. The Synopsys-managed, EDA-optimized SaaS cloud platform
  2. Their own cloud environment from any of the supported Cloud Service Providers (CSP)
  3. On-prem compute data centers or a private cloud

Additional licenses purchased on the platform, whether for a fixed term or in a pay-per-use
model (explained later), are automatically installed and activated, and available to use instantly. This eCommerce aspect of the platform is fully embraced by current users of the platform. It eliminates the delays incurred in manually obtaining license keys and restarting the license server, thereby ensuring zero downtime for engineers and no loss of productivity.

Synopsys Cloud License Management

  • Use same flows, scripts and binaries
  • Purchase EDA licenses on-demand
  • Instant license activation and availability
  • Complete license server auto-scaling
  • True pay-per-use with per minute access
  • Unlimited EDA software license availability
  • Run multi-vendor flows, foundry collateral, or compute

2. License Server Scalability

Synopsys Cloud license management is a cloud-native containerized service that leverages the auto-scaling algorithms of the public cloud provider to enable seamless license server scaling and automation.

As your demand for EDA capacity grows, Synopsys Cloud automatically scales the license server infrastructure seamlessly and instantaneously to tens of thousands of licenses if needed, without any impact on performance or disruption to your operations. This is a significant improvement for our customers whose workloads scale in a massive way during critical phases of their projects but couldn’t previously achieve scaling up licenses and license server infrastructure in a timely fashion, even when the cloud infrastructure could be scaled as needed. On Synopsys Cloud, users can leverage on-demand scalability of license servers with no additional time overhead.

3. Pay-per-use (PPU) metering with FlexEDA

Along with the ability to scale license server infrastructure, Synopsys Cloud features a pay-per-use (PPU) license model (FlexEDA) that uses patent-pending metering technology to monitor runtime of EDA tools in real time and charges accordingly with per-minute pricing. This helps mitigate upfront costs associated with obtaining fixed-term licenses.

It also opens a plethora of EDA flows which are not limited by availability of EDA licenses and were simply unimaginable before.
For example, if you are nearing an RTL freeze milestone and need to run a large regression in a short amount of time, with the click of a button in the Synopsys Cloud portal, you could scale up to tens of thousands of Synopsys VCS® licenses for a few minutes to get the job done. You only pay for what you use in per-minute increments, instead of having to acquire those license keys for a fixed term, and manually scale up the license server infrastructure to support those licenses through the critical phase of project.

Summarizing the Benefits

Synopsys Cloud offloads the complexity of maintaining license servers in a fast, scalable, and fully automated way, allowing chip designers to focus on their primary tasks. Summarizing the benefits discussed, Synopsys Cloud for license server management can:

  1. Save time that is spent on acquiring licenses and maintaining license server infrastructure
  2. Provide virtually infinite license scalability by instant access to thousands of EDA tool licenses at the click of a button
  3. Enable revolutionary EDA flows through a true FlexEDA pay-per-use model

Synopsys, EDA, and the Cloud

Synopsys is the industry’s largest provider of electronic design automation (EDA) technology used in the design and verification of semiconductor devices, or chips. With Synopsys Cloud, we’re taking EDA to new heights, combining the availability of advanced compute and storage infrastructure with unlimited access to EDA software licenses on-demand so you can focus on what you do best – designing chips, faster. Delivering cloud-native EDA tools and pre-optimized hardware platforms, an extremely flexible business model, and a modern customer experience, Synopsys has reimagined the future of chip design on the cloud, without disrupting proven workflows.


Take a Test Drive!

Synopsys technology drives innovations that change how people work and play using high-performance silicon chips. Let Synopsys power your innovation journey with cloud-based EDA tools. Sign up to try Synopsys Cloud for free!

About The Author

Varun Shah is on the product management team for Synopsys Cloud. He is responsible for product engineering and product roadmaps. Prior to joining the cloud team, Varun was an application engineer supporting verification software for over 10 years. Varun holds a master's degree in Electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and is a certified Product Management professional from the Kellogg School of Management.

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