Measuring Success in Semiconductor Design Optimization, What Metrics Matter?

There are few fields in the world as competitive as semiconductor design exploration and verification. Teams might run tens of millions of compute jobs in a single day on their quest to bring new chips to market first, requiring vast quantities of compute and increasingly, cloud and emulator resources, as well as expensive EDA licenses, and the all-important resource, time. In this roundtable, experts will discuss the license-, job-, compute- and host-based metrics that the world’s leading semiconductor companies measure and tune for, highlighting the optimization strategies that edge out the competition and drive up profitability.

Conference Presentations

Data Discipline: Managing Engineering Data for AI-powered Design

The advancements in the fields of AI and ML, combined with the increased availability of robust simulation, testing, and field data sets has made engineering data science a critical component of the modern product development lifecycle, but in order to extract maximum value from these exciting tools, companies need a plan to store, manage, and utilize their data efficiently. They need data discipline

Technical Document

How to Become an I/O Expert

Altair Breeze™ and Altair Mistral™ are I/O profiling tools that tell you how your applications are using storage. These unique products provide unrivalled insight into application dependencies and I/O patterns so system administrators and developers can troubleshoot and tune their applications. Dr. Rosemary Francis is the founder and CEO of the company that developed Breeze and Mistral, now part of Altair. She shares her experiences and describe how I/O profiling helps identify inefficiencies at the job level, optimise I/O to prep for and streamline cloud migration, and tune hybrid cloud. Altair I/O monitoring products help you understand the way applications access data to make every engineer an I/O expert. Reviewing this video on demand will help you to understand how Mistral and Breeze help design and execute complex physical design flows, reduce design risk, save money, and accelerate time-to-market by spotting critical dependencies.


Altair Mistral Demo

Mistral is the leading I/O profiling tool for high-performance computing. Mistral monitors I/O, CPU and memory, quickly locating rogue jobs and storage bottlenecks.

Product Overview Videos

Profiling I/O for Genome Pipelines: Sanger Institute Gets Fast, Agile, and Cloud-ready With Mistral and Breeze

According to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 2 people born after 1960 will get cancer at some point in their lives. Carrying out genome projects to find cures is a necessity, and the Wellcome Sanger Institute is on the front lines of genomic research. The Institute's team needed to make one of their cancer pipelines portable and tune it for cloud deployment. They used Altair Mistral™ to profile the pipeline and look for inefficient I/O patterns and used Altair Breeze™ to profile the containerized workload in the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Customer Stories

EDA in the Cloud: Containerization, Migration, and System Telemetry

Cloud computing is becoming an increasingly good choice for EDA, but a data-led transformation is needed to take advantage of the flexibility that public compute resources can offer and to maximize performance and cost. Cloud allows an organization to benefit from a clear return on investment that supports innovation and rapid prototyping, provided those advantages are fully exploited. The wins achievable by a well-planned hybrid cloud strategy should see reduced costs both on-premises and in the cloud. The ability to dynamically tune compute and storage resources based on business and application needs is only available in the cloud, and only if the right telemetry and data pipelines are in place to inform infrastructure decisions. In this paper we discuss how to put that plan in place and ensure that key business objectives are met as workflows are adapted and migrated to a new compute environment.

White Papers

Profiling OpenFOAM With Altair I/O Analytics Tools on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

The software tool OpenFOAM is used extensively in high-performance computing (HPC) to create simulations but is known to have challenging I/O patterns. To uncover the reasons why, we profiled OpenFOAM with the Altair Breeze™ and Altair Mistral™ I/O profiling tools on the Oracle bare metal cloud. The results detailed in this white paper provide a clear picture about why OpenFOAM performs slowly at times and highlight key areas for improvement.

White Papers

I/O Profiling to Improve Storage Performance at Diamond Light Source on an Altair Grid Engine Cluster

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron or particle accelerator. It works like a giant microscope, harnessing the power of electrons to produce bright light that scientists can use to study anything from fossils to jet engines to viruses and vaccines. Because Diamond Light Source handles a wider variety of workloads than many, performance of both in-house and third-party applications is vital. The team, which employs Altair® Grid Engine® for workload management, used Altair Mistral™ to identify straightforward improvements that could be made to improve performance and cut down runtime.

White Papers

Accelerating Cloud-based Genomics Pipelines Through I/O Profiling for Analysis of More Than 3,000 Whole Genome Pairs on AWS

This paper presents an overview of the work by the Wellcome Sanger Institute to make one of their cancer pipelines portable and to tune it for cloud deployment using the Altair Breeze™ and Altair Mistral™ I/O profiling tools. With the insight from the tools we were able to tune the cloud configuration to boost speed by 20% with a cost reduction of 10%.

White Papers

AWS Improves Write Performance by 4X With Mistral I/O Profiling

An AWS customer wanted to scale their machine learning (ML) workload to hundreds of thousands of machine instances. Their goal was to download large images, including people and cars, from S3 to EBS storage to process for training a self-driving car. Optimizing and scaling storage usage was key, but a bottleneck was created when writing the images to disc. The AWS team profiled the application using Altair Mistral™ to see how the workflow could be improved, with results that were well worth the effort.

Technical Document

Planning Cloud Strategy for HPC and High-throughput Applications

When adopting flexible compute, half the challenge is in selecting a storage solution that suits the application. Whether you are tuning for performance, throughput, or cost, or a combination of all three, it’s important to balance the compute nodes with the right access to data so that you are not paying for underutilized resources.

White Papers

Altair Mistral – Live HPC System Telemetry and I/O Monitoring

Altair Mistral™ is the leading application monitoring tool for HPC and scientific computing. It’s lightweight enough to run in production but flexible enough to ensure that you get the most from on-premises HPC and have the information to manage your hybrid cloud. It monitors I/O, CPU, and memory, quickly locating rogue jobs and storage bottlenecks and keeping track of what’s running on clusters day-to-day.

Technical Document

Dell EMC PowerScale and Altair Mistral – I/O Monitoring and Load Balancing for Semiconductor Design Shared Storage

As semiconductor organizations expand globally, design teams are increasingly geographically distributed. Coupled with shrinking geometries and fierce competitive pressures that lead to compressed time frames and cost constraints, hardware development continues to become more difficult. These factors create significant challenges for infrastructure management, where “do more with less” is increasingly the rule. This increased complexity can be addressed by choosing the right computing performance monitoring tools and the right storage to complement your semiconductor design tools. You need to select a storage platform that can be scaled easily as your semiconductor design compute workloads grow, that’s globally accessible, has robust data protection, and lowers overall TCO. And you need the right real-time file system monitoring and load balancing technology to keep your compute infrastructure performing at peak levels.


Six Smarter Scheduling Techniques for Optimizing EDA Productivity

Semiconductor firms rely on software tools for all phases of the chip design process, from system-level design to logic simulation and physical layout. Given the enormous investment in tools, design talent, and infrastructure, even minor improvements in server farm efficiency can significantly impact the bottom line. As a result, verification engineers and IT managers are constantly looking for new sources of competitive advantage. Workload management plays a crucial role in helping design teams share limited resources, boost simulation throughput, and maximize productivity. In this paper, we discuss six valuable techniques to help improve design center productivity.

White Papers