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Cloud Computing and Containerization: Emerging Technologies for Electronic Design Automation
TL;DR: Design automation is proactively adopting cloud computing and containerization as emerging technologies; a recent workshop at DAC aims to accelerate this process.
At the Design Automation Conference (DAC) earlier this week in Las Vegas, Rescale, Ellexus, and Sylabs collaborated on a full-day workshop entitled Storage Profiling, Containerization and Cloud for EDA. Organized by Derek Magill of the Association of High Performance Computing Professionals, this workshop was slated as an EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES contribution to the DAC 2019 program.
Framed as an opportunity for participants to proactively consider the adoption of cloud computing and containerization, this workshop was complemented by numerous presentations via the Design-on-Cloud Theater in the Design Infrastructure Alley at DAC. Only in its second year at the 56th DAC, and also championed by Derek, the Alley provides the opportunity to emphasize the enabling aspect of infrastructure in the design process.
Even though compute-centric infrastructure has been employed routinely by the industry for decades at this point, the role of the Alley is more important today than it’s ever been: whereas Electronic Design Automation (EDA) could easily serve as a compelling exemplar for computational clusters hosted on-premise in data centers, when it comes to cloud computing and containerization, emerging is the operative word for any mention of these technologies.
In this sense, our pre-conference workshop provided the means for members of the EDA community to immerse themselves in discussions regarding these emerging infrastructural opportunities in a very concrete way. Briefly, the workshop consisted primarily of:
- Rescale demonstrating their turnkey solution for running scale-out engineering workloads in the cloud
- Ellexus addressing data locality and application performance challenges through I/O profiling
- Sylabs introducing the means to securely containerize EDA applications and workflows through compute-savvy Singularity containers
In some ways, the most valuable aspect of the workshop was the engaging dialogue that persisted throughout the entire day. Along with the three vendor participants, the HPC Pros association will be working to gather and share slides, and following up on the discussions as much as possible. More on that as the details become available.
Overall there is cause for significant optimism within the industry. With drivers (pun intended, apologies) such as autonomous vehicles and AI-specific SoC (System-on-a-Chip) designs, even Wall Street analysts are anticipating growth opportunities within the industry.
Singularity containers offer a compelling value proposition – from better enabling design at the core and in the cloud, to deployment right out to the edge. Although we will boldly here anticipate EDA-specific content to make this value proposition explicit, there’s no need to wait; in fact, we encourage you to contact us or our partners to accelerate your adoption of cloud computing and containerization today.
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