DAILY NEWS Jan 8, 2013 7:00 AM - 0 comments

FPGA design heads to the Cloud

Plunify tackles central issue facing chip designers, speeds up workflows

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2013-01-08

As companies increasingly turn to the cloud for all things IT, the commonly held notion that cloud computing is not a mature technology is beginning to be dispelled. When it comes to chip design, the problem-solvers at EDA start-up Plunify are utilizing the cloud to give FPGA designers a platform to dramatically accelerate chip design workflows - and save time and money in the process.

As chip design complexity continues to rise - what can be done to keep costs and verification times in check? In the face of time and resource constraints, how can FPGA designers deliver results?

Chip design in the cloud signals a new direction for the industry and presents a host of advantages over traditional methods, according to Harnhua Ng, director of engineering for Plunify.

"Before Plunify, lengthy, repetitive build iterations were necessary for each design, implementation was slow and design collaboration was extremely limited,”explains Ng “Now, with multiple servers accelerating design flow and the cloud providing secure design collaboration capabilities, the sky is the limit for FPGA designers. Plunify also gives designers access to advanced analysis and verification tools as well as hardware on demand - on a pay for what you need, when you need it basis. By combining all of this into a one-stop-shop for chip design, Plunify's approach can generate a savings of greater than 50% -- with a TCO reduction of between 35 and 55%."

Chip design companies are looking to reduce development costs as well as shorten their products' time-to-market. Design and verification include compute-intensive processes like complex simulations, rigorous regression testing and meticulous timing closure. By maximizing the parallelism and flexibility of cloud computing, Plunify enables these tasks to be performed at a fraction of the time and with significantly less overhead -- dramatically shortening time-to-market and improving results. Personal datacenters give engineers freedom - no longer do they need to spend hours crafting and waiting for different iterations.

Combining knowledge of both the semiconductor and cloud computing industries to accelerate chip design is an idea whose time has come. Plunify's solutions harness cloud computing's value in parallelizing design workflows, tackling resource bottlenecks and under-utilization -- solving longer term IT problems such as scaling and provisioning - while also addressing the immediate issue of speeding up product time-to-market.



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