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February 3, 2011

Cloud Still Lofty Concept for EDA Execs

Nicole Hemsoth

During a panel at DesignCon, Electronic Design Automation (EDA) industry executives weighed in on their prospective use of cloud computing in the EDA space, noting that while it might be viable for a number of industries, design software in the cloud still has some specific limitations.

Testing has been one of the most attractive elements the cloud offers for EDA companies thus far. Cadence, for instance, allows its customers to take their toolset for a testdrive on Amazon’s cloud and has also made use of EC2 for storage and batch services and others test their own offerings on the pay-as-you go cycles offered on-demand.

The networking challenges, coupled with licensing models that are still being evaluated pose further challenges to EDA companies looking to offer their software as a service but outside of a few solid examples, including Autodesk’s design tools, MATLAB’s suite of software and a range of products provided by smaller players, this concept has not taken off fully yet.

This week Rick Merritt reported on the DesignCon event for EETimes where Hasmukh Ranjan, VP of Information Technology at Synopsys stated during a panel session that “In the EDA industry, we are still in a learning mode to see if it will work or not.” Ranjan’s company has already made use of public cloud resources for testing purposes but Synopsys is “still gathering customer requirements for cloud computing and has yet to offer an external service.”

Merritt provided insights from a number of EDA industry executives who shared their opinions about the feasibility of cloud computing EDA, including Deepak Singh from Amazon, who confirmed that there a handful of smaller companies that have been moving their design and engineering software to the cloud. Singh also noted that users might consider that if the networking challenges were the primary barrier, the Cluster Compute Instances offering 10 Gbit/s Ethernet might assuage their concerns.

Full story at EETimes