Why the time has come for cloud-based emulation

By Paul Dempsey |  No Comments  |  Posted: July 20, 2018
Topics/Categories: Blog - EDA, - Verification  |  Tags: , ,  | Organizations:

Mentor, a Siemens business, recently launched cloud-based access to its Veloce emulation platform via Amazon Web Services. The move aims at extending emulation’s use across a much broader range of clients, all tackling increasingly complex designs.

Gate-counts for SoCs implemented at the latest process geometries can reach into the billions. Software simulation has consequently become insufficient for system-level verification. At the same time, hardware emulation has in many cases become a mandatory component within the toolbox used by hardware and software verification teams.

For many companies however, one persistent problem has been that they have found the combined cost of licensing, housing and operating/servicing an emulator prohibitive.

By providing access on the cloud, Mentor is targeting companies of all sizes and budgets, offering 24/7 access to the Veloce platform from anywhere in the world. Companies can now use emulation only when they need it without incurring the expenses related to housing an emulator on site.

Using Veloce securely outside your own lab

The concept of placing various EDA tools and services in the cloud is hardly a new one. But yet another persistent concern has been, of course, security. What has changed in the decade since launches were first announced, but largely floundered on fears about hackers stealing design data and other corporate crown jewels.

One factor has simply been the increasing reach of the cloud. Most companies and even governments have become more familiar and comfortable with accessing critical business and technology software over the could as a result.

Nevertheless, security was a vital factor in Mentor’s decision to work though AWS. It has firewalls built into Amazon VPC, and the web application firewall capabilities in AWS WAF let customers create private networks and control access to their own instances and applications. Meanwhile AWS offer encryption in transit with TLS across all of its services.

“Offering access to Veloce on the cloud was really driven by customer demand,” said Jean-Marie Brunet, Senior Director of Marketing for Mentor’s Emulation Division. “They care about capacity, uptime, latency and use-models. Accessing tools on the cloud has become commonplace in most other aspects of enterprise and so security is not a hindrance. That said, we encourage potential customers to talk to AWS to see for themselves.”

Mentor piloted cloud-based emulation before its formal launch. One of the partners on its pilot was Softnautics. The company provides IP-based VLSI and embedded software solutions for artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, connectivity, storage and security markets.

“Our commitment to customers is to provide a wide range of IP-based solutions to their precise requirements, on time and within budget,” said Amit Vashi, COO of Softnautics. “We are excited to have our VLSI IP-based solution integrated on the Veloce platform, as well as to be part of the effort to validate the use model of emulation software like (Veloce) on the AWS cloud.”


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