I remember not so long ago when I first heard mention of "the cloud." Initially, this term seemed a little strange, but soon it was on everyone's lips, and now we take it for granted in many ways, such as storing and distributing data.
One area I have not personally had any experience with is running FPGA verification tools in the cloud. The idea is that you capture your design on your local machine, but when it comes to running the resource and compute-intensive verification tools, you do so using humongous servers in the cloud. In addition to the fact that you don’t have to install these monster tools on your own workstations, this on-demand, pay-per-use business model means that users can potentially save a lot of money. And, from the tool vendor's perspective, it's easier (and cheaper) to maintain one copy of the tool in the cloud than to support thousands of copies in the field.
Of course, there are always concerns about the security of one's design data -- the "family jewels," as it were -- but my impression is that design and verification engineers, and the companies they work for, are becoming more accepting of the cloud-based computing concept as time marches on.
All of which leads us to today's news that OneSpin, a provider of formal assertion-based verification (ABV) and formal equivalence checking solutions, and Plunify, a provider of Cloud computing solutions for semiconductor chip design, have formed an alliance that they say will eliminate disjointed FPGA-based verification flows.
You can visit the OneSpin and Plunify websites for more details. In the meantime, have you worked with any cloud-based design and verification technology? If so, it would be great if you could share your experiences with the rest of us by commenting below.
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting