Design Automation Conference and LiveWorx – Big on IoT and Machine Learning

In June, I attended the Design Automation Conference in Austin, TX and LiveWorx in Boston, MA.  I would like to share some key observations from both events.

  1. The Internet of Things is going to be big; very big!
  2. Success requires partnerships.
  3. IoT is about monetizing data.
  4. Engineering simulation is essential.

The Internet of Things is going to be big!

At the just concluded Design Automation Conference in Austin, speaker after speaker stressed this.

Silicon Labs CEO, Tyson Tuttle, noted that there will be 70 billion Internet connected devices by 2025 with accompanying semiconductors to power them. He repeated McKinsey’s forecast the the Internet of Things will drive between $4 -11 trillion in global economic impact by 2025.

Because semiconductors are at the heart of modern intelligence, it is critical to ensure high reliability. With billions of transistors crammed together on ever shrinking silicon chip, design engineers are challenged to ensure that they meet their power, performance, area, and cost (PPAC) objectives.

Several keynotes and panels that I attended emphasized that IoT was all about driving business outcomes through data analytics. At an executive event hosted by ANSYS, Prof. Andrew Kahng and ANSYS VP and General Manager John Lee discussed how machine learning and AI are integral to realizing the vision and value of IoT.

And, while machine learning and AI are often discussed in the context of autonomous vehicles and robotics, ANSYS has already applied this technology to electronic system design tools. ANSYS RedHawk-SC is the first electronic system design product to include big-data concepts to speed the development of advanced semiconductors. RedHawk-SC is the next-generation system-on-chip (SoC) power noise and reliability signoff platform to speed the development of sub-16nm designs.

IoT Dac - Design Automation ConferenceRedHawk-SC is built on ANSYS SeaScape, the world’s first custom-designed, big data architecture for electronic system design and simulation. SeaScape provides per-core scalability, flexible design data access, instantaneous design bring-up, MapReduce-enabled analytics and many other revolutionary capabilities. RedHawk, the industry gold-standard platform for SoC power noise and reliability sign-off, is being offered on the SeaScape platform as RedHawk-SC, giving you the best of both worlds — the signoff confidence that RedHawk provides and the elastic scalability and big data analytics of SeaScape.

Success requires partnership

The scope and opportunity of IoT is extremely large and requires partnerships to drive innovation through complete solutions. In that spirit, ANSYS has partnered with Synopsys to enable customers to accelerate the development of next generation of high-performance computing, mobile and automotive products.

The integration of ANSYS’ industry-leading platform for chip power and reliability signoff, ANSYS® RedHawk™, with Synopsys’ best-in-class place-and-route solutions, Synopsys IC Compiler™ II, will provide users earlier signoff accuracy within the Synopsys design environment. This integrated solution will enable rapid design exploration, design weakness detection, optimization and thermal-aware reliability through increased functionality within the place-and-route environment. The in-design power integrity and reliability signoff-driven flow will eliminate late design changes and ensure consistency with final chip-package-system signoff analyses with RedHawk.

Vic Kulkarni, VP & Chief Strategist of ANSYS semiconductor business describes the benefits of RedHawk-SC and some recent ANSYS news in this short video.

IoT is about monetizing data

I also had a few conversations on the topic of digitalization. Digitalization is another way to discuss the impact of IoT, autonomy, machine learning, and AI. For some, IoT is manifested in smartphones and smartwatches, but it would be a mistake to think that is all there is to IoT.

Earlier in June at the LiveWorx event in Boston, ANSYS VP Eric Bantegnie was just one of many industry leaders to describe the contribution of digital twins to help improve industrial operations and services. To help customers maximize the benefits of digital twin technology, ANSYS has partnered with PTC. The partnership will allow ANSYS engineering simulation capabilities to be easily added to apps built on PTC’s ThingWorx industrial IoT platform. The combined solution is ideal for developing digital twins which can help streamline operations and maintenance through reduced unplanned asset down-time, increased throughput, and improved labor utilization.  You can learn more about digital twin online, including this short video.

Engineering simulation is essential

After attending the high impact events in Austin and Boston, it is clear to me that IoT is going to be big and that engineering simulation will be essential in ensuring the reliability, robustness of the underlying smart connected products. Speakers from technology leaders, such as AMD, Broadcom, Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia, Samsung, Xilinx noted that engineering simulation had played a major role in their ground-breaking work in semiconductor and electronic design. The presentations crystallized the need for multiphysics simulation and big-data technologies to solve the complexities of 3DIC, thermal analysis, signal and power integrity, and power-distribution networks, to name a few.  Importantly, engineering simulation is also creating new customer benefit by opening opportunities to improve operations and services.

If you attended either of these events, I would welcome your perspective.