The design tools and applications necessary to develop electronic products are among the most critical, expensive investments design companies make. For electronic product design companies, the cost of entry to the design tools and the applications they require to develop their products is often one of the most critical choices and expensive investments they make. 

Here’s why:

  • The design applications engineers use require high-performance hardware with processing power and memory that supports and accelerates complex computations.
  • They often require outlying lots of upfront cash for yearly subscription models for various design applications regardless of tool utilization. This also includes resources for installation, licensing, and maintenance.
  • Companies also often need advanced simulation and analysis applications that they will only use sporadically. Alternately, companies are often spending more to outsource services to companies that have analysis capabilities.

Removing Barriers to High-Performance Tools

To address the challenges associated with the cost of and access to today’s design tools, Cadence has launched OnCloud, a new SaaS software platform. OnCloud was developed to eliminate the necessity of expensive on-premise hardware and to lower the cost and barriers to accessing advanced technologies. This on-demand e-commerce design platform approach provides instant access using a credit card or bank transfer. With nothing to install, users can acquire the design technologies they need online for short periods of time without the purchasing overhead.

Clearly, one size does not fit all when it comes to an electronic company’s design tool needs. Cadence has thought of that, too, by developing several web-based offerings designed to support four unique user personas. They are: OrCAD hardware designer, Multiphysics analyst, PCB hardware expert, and CFD analyst. Each of these role-based offers was specially designed to include all apps that the role would need to complete their tasks.

How OnCloud’s E-Commerce Platform Works

So, what are OnCloud tokens and how do they work? Tokens represent sort of a currency on the portal. This is an important aspect since the demand for the computing power required from application to application can vary, therefore the token “burn rate” will vary as well. For example, an application that requires less computing power might have a token burn rate of .75 tokens/hour. On the other hand, a more intensive application, like Multiphysics analysis, where the burn rate can be = 1.5 tokens/hour. The OnCloud subscription model-based platform has a cost of USD $10 per token and each of the packages available on the platform are priced differently based on the number of tokens in each package. The packages offer renewal every 30 days (or earlier if needed) based on consumption

Cadence developed OnCloud to break down the barriers of entry to high-performance electronic design automation (EDA) tools. This “anytime, anywhere” web-based approach to tool access and design on the cloud reduces the need for expensive hardware; eliminates traditional software installations, licensing, and upgrades; and makes maintenance expenses optional.

Are Companies Open to Cloud-Based Applications

So, how does Cadence’s OnCloud web-based tool approach correlate to today’s electronics companies’ official attitudes toward cloud-based engineering applications? Our recent Lifecycle Insights’ recent study, Digital Transformation on the Engineering Executive’s Strategic Agenda, can shed some light on that. The study revealed that, though 22% of companies are already using cloud-based applications, an additional 64% of respondents are either open to, currently planning, or already in the process of transitioning to cloud-based applications. In fact, only 11% of companies were skeptical about cloud-based applications and only 3% reported that they could not consider them. The companies open to cloud-based applications reported that lower upfront costs and remote access for employees and collaborators were the biggest reasons for their transition, followed closely by on-demand, intermittent access to more advanced functionality.

To attain the performance and flexibility necessary for OnCloud’s near-instant access to applications, Cadence worked closely with Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud platform. Accessibility and application performance were critical to OnCloud’s launch success. As for security, Cadence states that OnCloud has layered security protection. It follows defense-in-depth (DiD) principles in the protection of systems and data. Cadence also uses industry security frameworks, standards, and processes to manage its security and risks.

Beyond offering OnCloud access to corporations for cost, Cadence is also providing free access to qualified universities via its University Software Program (USP), which enables students to access tools with no impediments. In the absence of cumbersome system requirements and installation steps, students can easily move into a stable, fast design environment and learn and gain experience at their own pace. OnCloud’s web-based accessibility offers a flexible way to place industry EDA engineering design tools into students’ hands.

I’d like to thank Mahesh Turaga, VP of Cloud Business Development, and Sam Sattel, Digital Strategy Director at Cadence Design Systems for taking the time to brief me on Cadence’s new OnCloud platform. As cloud-based tool solutions continue to gain acceptance in the EDA space, I look forward to following this SaaS e-commerce solution’s growth, as well as future capabilities and offerings from Cadence on the cloud.