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Semiconductor Case Study Roundup: Leveraging Cloud Volumes ONTAP in the EDA Sector

Today’s fastest-moving innovations are driven by the advances that are being made in the semiconductor industry. But while almost all of modern computing and communications take place thanks to it, this tremendous success has also come with equally large-scale pressures and challenges.

This blog will cover how NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP helps the semiconductor and electronic design automation (EDA) sector with these challenges by highlighting four key case studies.

Read on below, or use these links to skip ahead to the case studies:

Challenges in Semiconductor Uses and EDA Design

It may seem ironic at first that this industry, at the core of so much innovative technology, has been relatively slow to embrace the cloud. But understanding these challenges can help your organization move forward and begin to migrate or connect existing data centers to the cloud.

  • Extremely large data sets are used to emulate chip operation through all stages from design to testing. These data sets are difficult to relocate, mirror, and slow to access.
  • Performance concerns. Data needs to be immediately accessible without latency to all users and across multiple environments, both cloud and on-prem.
  • Data Collaboration. Chip design requires simultaneous and collaborative access from multiple users in widely varied geographic locations and hybrid deployments.
  • Data Protection. The vast amount of data involved in every EDA project means data loss can’t be tolerated. This requires intensive data protection and disaster recovery capabilities.
  • Cloud expense. With unpredictable and uneven cloud demand, expenses can quickly increase.

Yet despite these challenges, success is possible. Let’s explore ways in which Cloud Volumes ONTAP has solved these and other problems.

Learn more about the EDA Cloud Challenges and How Cloud Volumes ONTAP Can Solve Them.

Semiconductor / EDA Customer Success Stories with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

Cloud Volumes ONTAP is NetApp’s cloud and hybrid data management platform built on AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud resources. Cloud Volumes ONTAP helps EDA companies to burst to the cloud, ensure the highest level of storage performance, enable cloud data collaboration, reduce storage costs, and keep data protected.

In this section we’ll read how four EDA companies are using Cloud Volumes ONTAP to enhance their chip design and operational abilities.

Wireless EDA Multinational Company Achieves Ultra-Fast and Flexible Cloud-Bursting Performance

This first semiconductor case study involves an American EDA giant that defined wireless 5G, 4G, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA and WCDMA mobile communications standards worldwide. Yet within their own networks, processes were starting to lag.

The company needed a cloud storage solution that would let them modernize and overcome growing pains related to the ever-increasing complexity of semiconductor uses of cloud, including:

  • High demand for storage space
  • Necessity to keep data in sync
  • Convoluted semiconductor design process
  • A difficult-to-mirror infrastructure due to its inherent complexity and distributed nature

With Cloud Volumes ONTAP on AWS, the company was able to:

  • Achieve ultra-fast performance thanks to intelligent NVMe caching.
  • Burst to the cloud on demand, giving them low-cost scalability for the data-intensive chip design process
  • Ensure data availability across multiple environments with less data replications while reducing their overall data footprint by 90% by using NetApp FlexCache,.
  • Move 100-150 PB of storage to Cloud Volumes ONTAP for scalable, on-demand use.
  • Enable data sharing and collaborative access at all times.
  • Seamlessly support a fully hybrid cloud infrastructure.
  • Reduce costs dramatically.

Find out more on what Cloud Volumes ONTAP does to solve EDA cloud challenges.

Leading Mobile Processor Designer Compresses, Copies, and Optimizes over 10 Billion Files 

This UK-based company is a world-leading CPU designer and also designs processors found in over 95% of smartphones sold worldwide. They also dominate other device markets, from digital TVs and automotive to smart sensors and cloud data centers. Their technology is everywhere.

This company wanted to migrate its IoT development platform, with a user base of 400,000 developers worldwide, from on-premises to AWS. Goals for the transition included:

  • Ensuring continual feature availability to user base of 400,000 developers worldwide
  • Copying over 10 billion files while keeping all data up to date
  • Solving native service latency issues
  • Reducing storage costs
  • Gaining insight and control with streamlined, centralized cloud storage management

Cloud benefits achieved:

  • Seamless data replication to cloud through the use of SnapMirror® technology
  • Faster, less expensive transfer to cloud thanks to deduplication and compression, which reduced data volume from 25TB to 9TB
  • Storage cost savings due to the above-mentioned data footprint reduction
  • Further cost savings thanks to Cloud Volumes ONTAP storage tiering which automatically moves infrequently-used data to Amazon S3 object storage and back as needed
  • Advanced data protection thanks to cost-effective NetApp Snapshot™ copies and backups

Multi-Billion Dollar Photolithography Supplier Drives Cost Savings with 3.2 PB Data Center Migration 

This multinational company is among the world’s leading manufacturers of the photolithography equipment used to manufacture semiconductors. Their machines drive fabs which are creating the future of mobile devices and computers while helping drive semiconductor prices worldwide.

Having been established NetApp storage users, this company embraced Cloud Volumes ONTAP on Azure for:

  • Data center migration: The company decided to migrate 3.2 PB of data from its data center to Azure.
  • Cloud bursting: The company wanted to burst workloads to the cloud on demand for their semiconductor storage high-performance computing (HPC) workloads.
  • Multiple dev/test facilities: The company needed to sync HPC workloads across multiple environments in their hybrid cloud architecture.
  • Data protection: The company maintains a secondary, remote copy of workload data in Azure, which optimizes costs.

Cloud benefits achieved:

  • Simplified drag-and-drop or API-based discovery of on-prem arrays and replication to Azure using NetApp Cloud Manager.
  • Burst to the cloud on demand using NetApp FlexCache
  • Cost savings through data tiering, leveraging lower-cost Azure Blob storage.
  • High data availability for HPC workloads.
  • Fast replication along with data protection and simplified disaster recovery, using NetApp SnapMirror.

Multinational Achieves On-Prem Level Performance with Flexible Cloud Bursting Solution 

A decades-long leader in the semiconductor industry, this California-based company has operations that span the globe to build motherboards, microprocessors, chipsets, and graphic chips for use at every level of computing, from system applications to home computers.

When EDA workloads started using up more and more resources, the company turned to NetApp to provide more flexibility along with an understanding of their complex availability needs during peak periods, running multiple parallel workloads.

The core challenge here was the need to access data stored in their data centers while retaining an on-premises level of cloud performance. To serve this need, the core of their successful implementation was NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP on Google Cloud and FlexCache, which offered the company a unique cloud bursting capability.

Cloud benefits achieved:

  • Time and cost savings by eliminating the need to migrate hundreds of TBs to the cloud.
  • Faster time to market through parallel processing using multiple FlexCache volumes, allowing for faster EDA and semiconductor process
  • Lower storage costs since most data remains on premises; data is only copied to Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s multiple, thin, cached volume copies as needed.
  • Optimized capital expenditures (CAPEX) investment, since the company can keep its on-premises data center longer while still taking advantage of the cloud during peak EDA workflows.
  • Establishing a flexible path to future expansion, including multicloud deployment.

This semiconductor case study is more proof of the effectiveness of cloud bursting for a variety of applications that demand HPC workflows, which are common in the EDA sector.

Semiconductor Case Study Roundup Conclusion

The semiconductor and EDA industries are facing challenges on multiple fronts today: the demands for extremely large data set management, the challenge of availability and data protection, the need for performance and cost optimization, and the complexities involved in hybrid and multicloud deployments. Cloud Volumes ONTAP solves these problems, enabling optimized performance, cost savings, and data integrity across environments.

Data-handling challenges will almost certainly continue to grow, especially with advances like real-time analytics that promise to streamline and optimize semiconductor supply chain and production, speeding the process to unprecedented levels.

With Cloud Volumes ONTAP, you’ll be ready today for whatever the future brings, reaping all the benefits of cloud with the best possible performance, uptime, and ease of management.

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Yifat Perry, Technical Content Manager

Technical Content Manager