Fundamentals of Cloud Computing and the Role it Plays in EDA

Vikram Bhatia

Jun 27, 2022 / 6 min read

Synopsys Cloud

Unlimited access to EDA software licenses on-demand

Are you frustrated with the limitations of on-premises EDA tools? Have you considered switching to the cloud? This article examines the fundamentals of cloud computing and how this technology can help optimize your electronic design automation workflows to ensure maximum performance. 

Although chip design and development have traditionally used on-premises EDA tools and infrastructure, cloud computing makes the process highly scalable. Cloud computing refers to a network of remote servers over the internet that store, manage, and process data.

Cloud computing comes in three varieties:

  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is great for startups and small businesses that don’t have the capital or expertise to maintain their infrastructure and build applications. You can access SaaS applications through an internet browser at any time from any device. The applications are easily scalable, and data associated with them are stored in the cloud. The SaaS provider takes care of the software updates and infrastructure maintenance. 
  • Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) refers to cloud-based offerings that enable functional building blocks at the application level, such as database services, identity and access management, etc. It includes all infrastructure and operating system software needed to run these services. PaaS providers supply customers with a virtual infrastructure and state-of-the-art data centers hardware and operating system. Unlike SaaS, the customer manages the apps that run on the platform as well as the data the apps require.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) enables customers to pay only for the virtual infrastructure they need. The IaaS platform provides flexibility in hosting and storing custom-built apps or standard software. It is particularly useful for companies with heavy application workloads that want to offload the operations and maintenance involved in managing infrastructure.
Types of Cloud Computing | Synopsys Cloud

The Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing provides many benefits for businesses seeking to improve overall performance. 


Cloud computing allows companies to scale up or down at any time without a long-term commitment. Scaling can be done quickly and easily without downtime or disruption.

Improved Agility and Productivity

With cloud computing, you can quickly respond to changes in business requirements by adapting and deploying services. Cloud computing also frees your staff to focus on delivering value instead of maintaining hardware and software.

Cost Savings

Cloud computing can save you money on infrastructure. Companies can forgo data centers and physical servers and simply pay for what they use. That way, nothing sits idle. Cloud also enables organizations to transfer their expenses from a CapEx to an OpEx model, helping them streamline their overall IT budgets.

Unlimited Storage

The cloud provides unlimited storage. Companies no longer have to buy more hard drives or manage an expensive data center to increase storage capacity. 


Cloud providers keep their customers' data safe by investing in security. Providers use tools, such as data encryption and access controls, to enforce high-security levels. 

Cloud computing has been around for about two decades, but many organizations, especially in the chip-design and development business, still don't take advantage of its business efficiencies, benefits, and competitive advantages. Instead, they continue to rely on on-premises equipment and tools that are expensive and inflexible.

Challenges with On-Premises EDA Tools

It's no secret that companies using on-premises EDA tools face many challenges. Depending on your company's size, you might not have enough computing power to develop the latest chips, which require more processing power than older ones. The increasing use of artificial intelligence in design tools and workflows drives higher demand for flexible access to computing resources and EDA tools.

Moving away from a well-understood and reliable on-premises investment model can feel risky. These days, small and medium-sized businesses often don't have the money to invest in infrastructure. They don't have the time, expertise, space, and budget to grow their platform. On-premises engineering platforms, however, are likely to require significant legacy investments to support operational consistency. 

Additionally, on-premises infrastructures aren’t flexible and become outdated quickly. Small and mid-sized companies face major issues whenever their on-premises data center can’t handle the workload or needs to complete a project quickly. They can't scale up their on-premises capacity fast enough, even if they want to. 

EDA licenses can be expensive, and the need for them is hard to predict. Chip design is limited by the cost, availability, and complexity of the right EDA tools. Also, licensing models can differ among vendors and users. Unused capacity can drive up costs and disrupt operations. 

Cloud-based EDA tools can help you overcome these challenges and focus on what you do best – design chips, faster. Benefits of cloud-based EDA include ability to access unlimited EDA software on-demand, leverage pre-defined EDA flows that are ready to go with pre-optimized compute configurations, and access to infrastructure and licenses all in one place.

Improve Performance with Synopsys Cloud FlexEDA

Synopsys Cloud with FlexEDA takes cloud-based EDA to the next level. With our platform, you can focus on what you do best—designing chips fast. 

Our patent-pending cloud metering technology that allows you to run unlimited parallel and regression jobs on-demand, cutting the wait for results from weeks to minutes. We remove arbitrary resource constraints, so everything is always available, no matter the demand.

You can manage the combination of tools and compute resources you need without traditional license restrictions with our unlimited EDA licenses on demand.

At Synopsys, we value your data and IP security and privacy. Each deployment on Synopsys Cloud ensures complete data isolation with encryption in transit and at rest. We leverage our own industry-leading software integrity platform to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities in our code prior to enabling each release. A few protections we offer include multi-factor authentication with role-based access and a dedicated network with workload protection, vulnerability management, and round-the-clock incident response.

With our innovative technology, small- and medium-sized businesses, alike, can harness the full potential of the cloud, optimizing their electronic design automation workflows and maximizing overall performance. 

FlexEDA Business Model | Synopsys Cloud

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

Vikram Bhatia is head of cloud product management and GTM strategy at Synopsys. He's responsible for building the industry's first completely browser-based EDA-as-a-Service platform, Synopsys Cloud. He has over 25 years of experience in product strategy, and prior to joining Synopsys, he served in a variety of leadership roles at companies including NetApp, Oracle, HP and Microsoft. Over the last decade, Vikram has exclusively focused on transforming traditional on-premises business models to cloud based SaaS offerings though product management, go-to-market strategy, partnerships, and sales transformation initiatives. Vikram has a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, and graduate degrees from the Colorado School of Mines and the Indian School of Business.

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