NXP Semiconductors Taps AWS for EDA in the Cloud

Article By : NXP Semiconductors

NXP is migrating its EDA workloads from its datacenters to AWS' cloud service.

NXP Semiconductors has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com Inc. company, as its preferred cloud provider and is migrating the vast majority of its electronic design automation (EDA) workloads from NXP data centers to AWS.

Running on the world’s leading cloud extends NXP’s efficiency and competitive edge in the design and verification of advanced semiconductors tailored to the requirements of automotive, industrial Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, and communications infrastructure businesses.

The Netherlands-based company uses AWS’s proven global infrastructure and capabilities in high performance computing (HPC), storage, analytics, and machine learning to enhance collaboration and EDA throughput across dozens of its worldwide design centers, as well as to reduce costs with elastic scaling of compute resources and minimize scheduling risks for design projects. In addition, thanks to AWS’s virtually unlimited scale, NXP engineers gain more time to focus on innovation rather than managing compute resources.

Running on AWS, NXP aims to achieve long-term process improvements that transform how semiconductors are designed and tested. Before NXP can manufacture new chips, its designs undergo extensive testing and validation through the EDA process to ensure they are functionally safe, secure, high quality, and highly performant. NXP’s complex EDA workflows include front-end design, performance simulation, and verification, along with backend workloads that include timing and power analysis, design rule checks, and other applications to prepare a chip for production.

Historically, semiconductor companies run these highly iterative workflows from on-premises data centers with fixed compute capacity. However, because of the massive compute power involved for each cycle and the increasing complexity of chip designs, producing a new device can take many months or even years unless the companies accurately forecast and install additional compute infrastructure. In contrast, by powering its EDA with AWS, NXP gains the scale and agility to advance multiple projects at the same time on demand, regardless of their complexity, and run dozens of performance simulations in parallel to accelerate time to result.

To better manage the scale and complexity of its design activities, NXP relies on AWS analytics and machine learning services to continuously refine its research and development workflows. NXP uses Amazon QuickSight (AWS’s machine learning-powered business intelligence service built for the cloud) to generate more powerful engineering and operational insights that help increase workflow efficiency. For example, by rapidly translating results from one step of testing into modifications for another, NXP can reduce the time required to iterate chip designs. NXP also uses Amazon SageMaker (AWS’s service that helps developers and data scientists build, train, and deploy machine learning models quickly in the cloud and at the edge) to optimize how it structures compute, storage, and third-party software application licenses. To support this work, NXP is building a data lake on AWS using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and AWS Glue (AWS’s service for simply and cost-effectively extracting, transforming, and loading data).

In addition, NXP takes advantage of AWS’s range of specialized instances for HPC to further streamline its EDA workflows. The selection of instance types allows NXP to meet the unique requirements of each design project while also achieving a high degree of price performance. NXP uses Amazon FSx for Lustre (AWS’s service that provides cost-effective, high-performance, scalable storage for compute workloads like EDA) to store petabytes of design simulation data and make it quickly available for analysis.

“We believe cloud-based EDA is critical to accelerating semiconductor innovation and getting new designs to market faster to power an increasingly digital world where more and more devices and infrastructure are connected. AWS gives us the best scale, global presence, and selection of compute and storage options, with continuous improvements in price performance, that we need,” said Olli Hyyppa, CIO and senior vice president, NXP Semiconductors. “We’re excited to expand our relationship with AWS to power the next generation of EDA workloads in the cloud. This will give precious time back to our design engineers to focus on innovation and lead the transformation of the semiconductor industry.”

“At AWS, we consider ourselves to be a community of builders, and this engagement with NXP reinforces what’s possible when you free builders to work in the best environments, with the infrastructure and capabilities they need,” said Dave Brown, vice president of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, AWS. “By shifting their EDA workloads to AWS, NXP designers will have access to the best tools available for collaborating on semiconductor design and development around the world. This move will help NXP produce chips that power innovation in IoT, connected cars, and more. We’re proud to support a leading driver of innovation in the semiconductor industry, and we look forward to seeing what becomes possible when chip design moves to the cloud at such a large scale.”

 

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