Understanding Cloud Computing for EDA Workloads

Sridhar Panchapakesan

Sep 06, 2022 / 3 min read

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The cloud influences every aspect of the technology world. Understanding cloud computing is therefore essential for chip designers. 

For years, semiconductor companies have relied upon on-premises data centers with fixed computing capacity to run their electronic design automation (EDA) workflows. But with exploding computational demands and continued time-to-market pressure, chipmakers are looking to cloud-based computing and EDA tools. This transition applies to both large semiconductor firms and startups.

Since chip design cycles require substantial computing power, cloud-based computing, and EDA tools speed up tasks like simulation, sign-off, and library characterization. Cloud-based chip design offers substantial run-time improvements over on-premises.

With a single-source, pay-as-you-go model, the new cloud-based EDA deployment approach offers design flexibility, enabling chip engineers to pay as they go for cloud computing resources. Moreover, EDA eliminates the need for on-premises data centers and streamlines workflows.

Understanding Cloud Computing: EDA-Related Capabilities

A successful cloud-based EDA solution must contain four essential capabilities:



The most significant advantage of moving your EDA workloads to the cloud is the immediate access to massive computing and storage resources. Throughout the chip design process, computing demand fluctuates cyclically and unpredictably. The cloud service provider automates provisioning. The provider also makes it easier to activate as many machines as you need if, for example, you are running static timing analysis or physical verification. You can return the resources to the cloud as soon as you are done, so the use charges stop.



An EDA solution for the cloud should be flexible to accommodate various electronic designs, from tiny IoT devices to the most advanced servers. Some companies will want to outsource everything about cloud management to reap the most productivity benefits. Those with cloud experience might want to manage the process themselves. Some companies may move whole projects to the cloud, while others use it only when needed. In addition, access to EDA licenses on a pay-per-use basis is crucial, as it allows companies the flexibility to run these complex workloads on an on-demand basis. This flexibility also removes the constraint of a finite number of tool licenses and enables customers to elastically scale as needed. Chip designers require flexible EDA solutions that adapt to their changing requirements.



Time to market is essential for every company and project. If compute resources are mismanaged or unavailable, you can miss market opportunities and waste infrastructure investments. Organizations must hire and retain staff to support EDA workloads and engineering teams. It is unlikely that in-house data centers can handle modern EDA workloads with the exponential growth of computing requirements. For true productivity, organizations require cloud-based EDA tools. Access to cloud computing and storage resources allows chipmakers to increase productivity.



Many companies can't keep up with the multitude of modern security threats. Since security best practices are constantly changing, companies often don't possess the resources and expertise to keep up. 

At the same time, the largest and most profitable tech companies in the cloud industry are investing in the best security. Though many companies were once hesitant to make the jump to the cloud, engineers have discovered that leveraging it for EDA is not only practical but also safe.

Synopsys Cloud Can Help

Intense competition and rising chip complexity have put pressure on the semiconductor industry. If you want to succeed in the cloud environment, it is essential to rethink your assumptions. The most promising opportunity for your chip design is to migrate your EDA environment to the cloud.

Synopsys' cloud-optimized EDA workflows make chip design and verification easier. We work closely with Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Services to ensure you have an exceptional experience. We understand what chip designers require from a cloud-based EDA platform.

EDA cloud solutions from Synopsys allow designers to push continued innovation when producing faster, cheaper, and better chips.

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

Sridhar Panchapakesan is the Senior Director, Cloud Engagements at Synopsys, responsible for enabling customers to successfully adopt cloud solutions for their EDA workflows. He drives cloud-centric initiatives, marketing, and collaboration efforts with foundry partners, cloud vendors and strategic customers at Synopsys. He has 25+ years’ experience in the EDA industry and is especially skilled in managing and driving business-critical engagements at top-tier customers. He has a MBA degree from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley and a MSEE from the University of Houston.

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