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With greater than 12 PB of records beneath management spanning throughout SAN, NAS, object and hyper-converged techniques from a few providers, trying out and evaluating storage are predominant projects at ny life assurance Co.
David Burman, company vice chairman of commercial enterprise expertise at manhattan existence, closing year bought Load DynamiX -- now part of virtual gadgets -- storage analytics, validation and checking out equipment to help lighten his load. Load DynamiX storage analytics helps Burman manage the techniques he has and test programs he's on the grounds that buying.
new york lifestyles is a mutual life assurance company, with more than $500 billion in property below management. The firm has corporate statistics facilities in New Jersey and Georgia, with smaller information centers in Florida and Texas. together with 12 PB of storage, the insurance business has more than 6,000 applications and 3,000 database situations.
Burman pointed out big apple lifestyles puts its tier-one open and mainframe storage on EMC VMAX, tier-two block storage on VNX, and uses NetApp for NAS. He additionally recently bought EMC VPLEX for block storage virtualization and Nutanix hyper-converged techniques.
he is evaluating all-flash arrays, hybrid cloud technologies and looking for an object storage system to change his EMC Centera. He can use Load DynamiX for all of these initiatives, as well as stress-test new points and new code improvements for his creation storage.
"We're a existence coverage enterprise and fairly conservative," Burman talked about. "The ultimate issue I need to do is introduce new code that has bad affect on my atmosphere."
In late 2015, ny life bought a Load DynamiX Unified series storage analytics equipment, with Fibre Channel and Ethernet ports, and load DynamiX enterprise application. Burman originally bought DynamiX to verify NAS gateways, but has seeing that found new makes use of for it, including evaluating new technologies and trying out updates to storage methods in construction.
"There are dramatic adjustments happening in storage technology -- as tons as I've ever considered," Burman stated. "To have equipment in order to make certain of what we're deploying in creation become an easy selling aspect."
Flash, hyper-convergence and cloud are among the many new technologies the assurance business has implemented and should doubtless extend.
"I have flash in each array, but I would not have dedicated flash arrays," Burman pointed out, adding that he is evaluating all-flash arrays from EMC, Pure Storage and Hewlett Packard commercial enterprise 3PAR.
"one of the most explanations I introduced in Load DynamiX changed into to facilitate and expedite evaluation of recent technologies," Burman spoke of. "The proof of conception with Load DynamiX turned into to evaluate NAS know-how, however that changed into just one use case."
Burman referred to Load DynamiX simplifies the storage analytics process. as an instance, instead of constructing a big server farm, with many virtual machines to test flash storage, he can simulate and store workloads in Load DynamiX. He can also use it to compare his workloads with how they appeared months in the past.
Burman spoke of he decided no longer to put in force skinny provisioning on VNX after Load DyanmiX showed him the way it would affect efficiency. Load DynamiX also helped him determine what tuning turned into essential when he carried out VPLEX.
"it's for a lot more than just evaluating structures," Burman noted. "i take advantage of it every time we get new code or any new patches from EMC or NetApp. We at all times check things in our lab first, but we had no respectable means of stress-testing this. Now, as we load it into our look at various lab, we now not simplest do functionality testing, but we do stress testing the usage of key workloads that we have now loaded into Load DynamiX. it be a daily a part of our implementation of recent code. We also use it to look at various new facets.
"Analytics is an extra key a part of it. To check flash, i would probably want many digital machines. Then, to try and collect the facts, and process it and do evaluation of it would be extraordinarily guide effort. here's simplified. and that is the reason an enormous understatement."
Burman worked at EMC for 12 years, however he will purchase other providers' storage when it makes sense. He has a huge NetApp NAS installation, and is at the moment migrating to Clustered records Ontap from facts Ontap 7 Mode. That migration has given many NetApp customers pause. Burman noted long island lifestyles begun the migration in late 2015, and he expects to be finished by way of September. Load DynamiX provides some hand-conserving with that undertaking.
"We use it for validation. It gives us the warm and fuzzies," he pointed out. "we will do stress testing of CIFS and NFS performance before we do the cutover for those workloads to Cluster Mode."
Burman noted he intends to use Load DyanmiX's new storage analytics digital equipment to test his hyper-converged packing containers. And he's attempting to find Load DynamiX to add elements following its merger with monitoring supplier virtual instruments, which makes SAN taps.
"I feel there's huge synergy between the two organizations," Burman mentioned. "i do know that Load DynamiX became community taps to boost their capture of utility workloads to load into their appliances. utilising the hardware [and] utility technologies that digital devices already has, I predict, will deliver a much extra timely and extra powerful answer.
"also, gathering real-time workloads that may feed the weight DynamiX appliances will facilitate the tuning of workloads in a nonproduction environment, but using production traits."
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(business WIRE)--IMPEX technologies today introduced that it has attained EMC business partner Signature level, the highest tier within the EMC business associate application for options suppliers. To achieve this popularity, IMPEX has attained all of the required revenue equipped, Technical Architect (TA) and Implementation Engineer (IE) necessities for the wide latitude of EMC solutions together with EMC® Symmetrix VMAX, VNX, Isilon, RecoverPoint, Avamar, statistics area and VPLEX. This fulfillment demonstrates IMPEX technologies’ endured efforts in fitting an expert in EMC enterprise storage and statistics protection and availability options. IMPEX has taken the critical steps to be sure that all its income body of workers, pre-revenue and start technical engineers have met the stage of capabilities requires to be an Signature-level companion.
“Our customers are unexpectedly modernizing their records facilities to keep up with the unexpectedly expanding tempo of application workloads, on-demand computing and the want for greater efficiencies. they have got turned to IMPEX to design and put in force main converged infrastructure, storage and statistics coverage options from EMC,” referred to Rajiv Shah, CEO, IMPEX applied sciences. “we've therefore invested in attaining the EMC Signature degree fame to expand the breadth of our follow for customers aiming for the dramatic efficiencies enabled with the aid of these leading EMC know-how solutions.”
“IMPEX is a dedicated companion who has committed to EMC and our solutions,” talked about Joe Staiber, vice chairman, Channels, North the united states, EMC organisation. “they are a mannequin associate for us and on behalf of EMC, we congratulate them on becoming an EMC Signature level accomplice and for being diagnosed as an award winner at EMC World 2014 on account of their leadership in provider and customer satisfaction.”
As a Signature-level associate, EMC acknowledges IMPEX as a go-to answer provider that can convey comprehensive EMC solutions and services to consumers on their journey to the subsequent era facts core. Signature-level partners within the EMC business companion software show a broad latitude of capabilities and the skill to serve their purchasers with information center, cloud and end-person computing solutions.
The EMC company accomplice program is concentrated on ensuring that reseller and options issuer companions carry premiere-in-category EMC items and options to meet the breadth and depth of customer IT challenges. The EMC solution issuer application is designed to foster consumer specialization whereas moneymaking partners via increased revenue alternatives and extended market penetration. The program incorporates 4 tiers — Affiliate, Affiliate Elite, Premier, and Signature — with merits and rewards that raise in keeping with earnings, practicing, and area of expertise achievements.
read greater in regards to the EMC enterprise partner application.
About IMPEX technologies
IMPEX applied sciences gives consulting, options and IT integration functions that help corporations realize the can charge, first-class, and deployment benefits of the virtualized information middle as they transform and revamp their IT infrastructure. A Signature accomplice of EMC, Cisco and VMware, IMPEX brings over two a long time of deep technical skills in information core applied sciences together with virtualization, compute, networking and business information storage and maintains a state-of-the-art solutions middle. To learn the way IMPEX can help book your IT transformation, talk over with http://www.impextechnologies.com or observe us on Twitter @impexla.
EMC is a registered trademark of EMC, supplier in the united states and other jurisdictions. the use of the term “partner” or “partnership” doesn't imply a felony partnership relationship between EMC and some other company.
EMC is a registered trademark of EMC service provider in the united states and different nations
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Simulation and analysis (S&A) are not known for its simplicity. It has traditionally been the domain of experts. The problems they encounter are theoretically complex, and the software used reflects this complexity.
Nevertheless, S&A has become a key area of product development. This raises questions like: How can it be made easier? How can we spread the use of these tools to a wider part of the product design community? And, can simulation process and data management (SPDM) help to democratize S&A?
A broader user base. Commercial SPDM solutions are only in use by less than five percent of simulation specialist engineers in mainstream companies. But with easy-to-use apps that contain, among other things, embedded simulation expertise, there is promise of a possible broadening of the user base.
Let us look at simulation with a focus on SPDM. The adoption of SPDM within mainstream product development has, according to CIMdata, “been extremely disappointing from a business impact perspective.”
According to the analyst, fewer than five percent of all simulation specialists worldwide use some form of commercial simulation data management technology to manage and archive their simulation models and to collaborate with other simulation specialists and design disciplines within their organizations. With this in mind, a broader use of simulation tools and results can become powerful support for important advances in the utilization of modern product development technology
Although there are exceptions, simulation software is generally not easy to use, share, or, for that matter, even understand for some members of product development teams. At the same time, the capabilities of the software and the results are necessary to understand the physical behavior of designs and to validate their functionality, strength, motion in a flow, etc., as well as satisfy regulatory requirements. This does not mean that they’re not useful for less complex simulations. But in general, their overall effect has been bottlenecks in the product design process, making for a longer time to market, and a longer wait before revenues start rolling in.
Can the tools and processes become more useful not only for the analysts, but also in the broader "designer collective" in this development chain's increasingly important link?Process Templates Are Not the Answer
Gartner Group's PLM analyst and vice president, Marc Halpern, was one of the first employees of the now market-leading CAE software developer ANSYS.
Gartner's PLM analyst and vice president, Marc Halpern, has a solid background in simulation and analysis. He was one of the earliest employees in ANSYS, the leading simulation software vendor. There is of course more than one solution to the democratization of simulation software, he notes, but an interesting aspect that is sometimes heard in the discussions is: "Democratize CAE with SPDM (simulationprocess and data management)." But can SPDM really democratize CAE? Both yes and no, says Halpern:
“I have always understood SPDM as a way to manage models and results. A single CAD model can be used to create many different models to perform many different simulations. Although simulation models and data are managed perfectly, this in and of itself does not mean that CAE becomes more democratic. Not even the ‘process templates’ can solve the basic problem,” Halpern claims, pointing to things like general confidence in the results.
“Does the model used match reality so that the results become useful? Another important point is about the interpretation of the results, which can be a problem.”
On the other hand, Halpern says that there are promising examples of embedded expert knowledge and methods in SPDM solutions, pointing at (Aras-owned) Comet’s SimApps. “I believe this is what differentiates what Aras is selling from what I typically see from SPDM technology,” he said.
Though the concept of simulation with good SPDM has been recognized as having a lot of potential, the adoption of SPDM solutions has been an “extreme disappointment", as CIMdata formulates it.
The emergence of simulation as a key technology can be seen in reduced use of physical prototypes. Simulation and analysis tools can replace a physical prototype with its digital version. Products that only exist virtually must be tested and validated before they are produced. Not only that, in the era of mass individualization, a large number of variations can produce families of products or parts, and they all have to work.
With a connected product (IoT), the operation of a product will also generate usage data and information about the part’s environment and operating conditions.ERP is Immediate ROI, SPDM is Long-Term
As a result of these trends and new technologies, the number of simulations has increased dramatically in the last decade, reflected in the growth of investments in simulation and analysis tools.
According to CIMdata, this growth has made simulation the “star” of the PLM industry, with annual growth rates of around 10 percent over each of the past five years. They have thus also achieved an average growth substantially higher than other PLM investments (CAx, ALM, cPDm etc.) during the same period.
In 2017, investments into simulation software and service investments were worth $5.5 billion, making up 13 percent of the total of the PLM investments.
So, how has this fertile climate affected the growth of SPDM? While CIMdata states "the end-user's interest in SPDM has increased significantly over the past decade," increased interest has not caused increased implementation. CIMdata voices "an extreme disappointment" over the slow industrial uptake of SPDM, at least outside the major automotive and aerospace industry’s OEM companies.
But Halpern is not surprised. “There are good reasons for this [slow uptake]. In stark contrast to ERP investments—which provide immediate cost-saving effects that are directly reflected in the form of profits and rising share prices—SPDM investments are more likely to provide long-term positive effects, which are more difficult to detect immediately. SPDM can make engineers more productive in a way that, from management's point of view, does not have the short-term, immediate benefits that ERP provides,” explains the Gartner analyst. Since so few senior executives understand SPDM, they can’t really support it. SPDM is not like product design, sourcing and manufacturing operations, where what can go wrong can be quite obvious, cause delays in the delivery of the product, and affect the company’s bottom line.
They know that construction and technology are important, Halpern adds, but the "pain points" and the consequences of design engineering are often "too far over the horizon” for executives.
“Therefore, most of the support for SPDM ventures generally comes from engineering teams, and the simulation teams in particular. It doesn’t help that SPDM is difficult to implement—as difficult, if not more, than PDM. All in all, this is the reason I can see behind the slow growth in SPDM.”
Again, the situation is not encouraging.
"The real adoption rate within mainstream product development activities has been extremely disappointing from a business impact perspective... Unfortunately, the most common form of SPDM in practice today is still the use of personal hard disk storage on the simulation engineer’s desktop or perhaps a shared drive used in common with other members of their immediate organization. Naming and versioning of simulation models and results is haphazard at best and totally inconsistent in the worst cases. This makes the traceability and pedigree of simulation models and results extremely difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish and can lead to a lack of confidence in the accuracy of the simulation results versus physical test data," CIMdata writes in the 2018 release of its Simulation & Analysis Market Analysis Report.
Nevertheless, thereare some positive signs which point to a possibly larger utilization.
“The real value of SPDM from a democratization perspective is that, after all, there are tools that enable experts to package the knowledge that can be linked to a design model in a way that makes it possible for many designers without advanced simulation knowledge to take part of, and even do, simulations,” says Halpern.Turning Months into Days
One company that has SPDM platforms to its advantage is Boeing. By tying together simulation and process data, Boeing manages to shorten some development processes substantially.
This goes well in line with other cases where development processes have been shortened from months to days. In extreme cases—when the correct knowledge, interpretation and the correct simulation results are all embedded in the design model—the development process can be shortened to hours.
This proves SPDM solutions can be a key to success when the use of simulation tools is constantly growing—with the caveat that they are not only used in “normal" design processes, but also in later phases: during the product realization process, as well as when products are in use.
More and more PLM vendors are also starting to look at packaging and developing solutions that make simulation more accessible to multiple stakeholders in product development teams. It’s common knowledge that there is a gap and that the demand for bridging the gap is on the rise. Sweden-based multiphysics software vendor, COMSOL (with the Application Builder), was early to offer solutions for this, but also the simulation giant ANSYS, MSC and the three PLM majors (Siemens PLM, Dassault and PTC) are now working on broadening their respective platforms’ functionalities related to SPDM. The PLM rocket, Aras, closed the gap between simulation and developmentwhen it acquired Comet Solutions at the end of September 2018.
“Much remains to be gained if we can close the gap between simulation and mainstream design by giving simulation analysts the opportunity to repeat and reuse simulations while connecting the analysis to product configuration and multidisciplinary design through quality of life,” says Marc Lind, senior vice president of Strategy at Aras.
SPDM challenges. The adoption of SPDM solutions is far from a question of technology only. People, processes and company culture, as well as governance play significant roles.SPDM to Understand Product Realization Process
As for the commercial SPDM solutions, CIMdata points at a problem in this context: they have been developed specifically for 3D modeling and simulation (such as finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics). This means that they often lack effective support for models and information created in 0D/1D systems modeling, which is critical when implementing an MBSE (Model-Based Systems Engineering) approach.
However, the major solution providers are now recognizing this need and the analyst expects to see significant progress in this area over the next several years.
But the low mainstream adoption rate is far from a question of technology alone. People, processes and company culture, as well as governance, play significant roles:
However, software vendors are still in the early days in developing SPDM solutions that are both robust and easy to use.
Most analysts alsoagreethat the exponential growth of CAE and the explosion of simulation-related data appearing from increasing digitization, new technologies and disruptive product realization methods requires more competent management systems.
“Without good SPDM tools, it will be difficult to effectively understand this part of the product realization process,” says Marc Halpern.
Simulation is an indispensable element throughout this process. Why?
“SPDM platforms will be crucial to realizing the true potential of PLM, digital threads and digital twins, and enable collaborations with other corporate platforms, such as ERP, MES and MRO to realize Industry 4.0 concepts in the next step,” Halpern adds.
CIMdata agrees in its 2018 report: "Companies need to be better at managing simulation models, results and related design information, improving collaboration and reusing and better integrating simulation activities into the PLM environment. Doing this supports a larger audience of product development engineers, engineering managers, product managers and others in the extended organization and supply chain who can benefit from access to simulation information to make more informed decisions."Halpern concurs, adding, “But there are also elements in the data management, which I observed in my research on digital twins, which applies to SPDM. I see a strong connection between the digital twin concept and SPDM.”Embedded Knowledge, Disrupting Institutional Silos
CAE is traditionally one of the more well-preserved siloes in product development. But in recent years, we have seen increased communication between the analysis, simulation and the rest of the members of the product development team. Also, it is clear that new disruptive technology can be a catalyst and is able to break up isolated data structures.
But there’s more. Can a software developer create solutions that can meet the new requirements to extend collaboration opportunities, Halpern wonders.
Without uncertainty. Is it possible to parameterize the thermal analysis of a microprocessor on a circuit board, so that it can be applied to similar configurations and variations without uncertainties about the mesh?
During a NAFEM presentation, the Gartner analyst said that this is an example of a capability that one can embed in a model.
“Some call it encapsulation,” Halpern continued. "But whatever you call it, this kind of encapsulated information can free up engineers from having to be full-time analysts. The specialized terminology, conventions, and features of the simulations can stay under the hood and the interface made considerably easier to use. A complex problem can be solved with a handful of parameters. This would provide simulation to not only engineers, but also to others involved in the product and its design.”Aras Takes a Step with Comet Acquisition
Allowing more engineers to perform simulation is exactly what the PLM developer Aras was aiming for when it purchased Comet. The acquisition is an important step on a roadmap for developing platform-based SPDM to support increased use of simulation for complex scenarios.
Aras aims to improve Innovator’s ability to handle simulation data. With Comet's technologies, manufacturers and product developers can reuse complex simulations to scale up or down the application and widen the use of simulation results. One result: it is now possible to connect simulations and gain access to experts in the field by offering traceability, access and reuse during the product life cycle.
Comet's products are largely based on a series of customer-developed and web-implementable "SimApps," with built-in expert knowledge and methods. “These SimApps,” says Aras Marc Lind, “create a simulation-driven design that fits all users, from CAE experts to design engineers. "
We ask Halpern if this is what he meant by encapsulated knowledge.
“Exactly!” says the Gartner analyst. “This distinguishes what Aras sells from what I usually see in terms of SPDM technology.”
He added that Comet's real value in democratizing simulation is its ability to integrate functionality and knowledge into CAD models so that the person making the simulation or evaluation need not worry about complex problems and intricate trade-offs to make the simulations.
“Encapsulated knowledge takes care of it."
Web-based Simulation a la Aras. Comet’s SimApps (now part of Aras) are web-based simulation programs that are easy to use, even for salespeople. Product engineers can perform complex simulations safely. These SimApps can answer specific questions about the design of a product in a product family, for example. Comet experts, partners and customers have built, tested, and deployed a comprehensive library of SimApps that capture and execute best practices for simulation, automate repetitive and tedious tasks and secure the power of sophisticated CAE analysis in the hands of both experts and non-expert users.Links Between Users and Non-Experts
An important point to get SPDM to work is to apply a "vendor-agnostic" implementation by connecting a wide range of CAD, FEA, meshing, 0D/1D simulation tools and proprietary applications. It is a requirement for supporting the often heterogeneous software environments found in organizations.
Aras's chief architect, Rob McAveney, argues that wider use of simulation has generally deteriorated as the simulation process and data management tools (SPDM) lack effective links between simulation users and the extended enterprise.
“Expanding the digital thread to include simulation tools and processes has emerged as an important factor for future business models,” he says. “Simulation can add significant value to product development, manufacturing and field operations, but has not yet reached its potential due to limited connection to the rest of the company. Through Comet we can capture what is needed to realize the potential: Repeatability, reusability and traceability for simulation across the entire product life cycle”
McAveney sees a market growing exponentially, while progressing as the utilization of physical testing decreases. He also points out that the complexity that comes with smartly connected product design and MBSE are important trends that will support the need for this type of platform.
“We see simulation in its context, with overall system technology processes together with configuration and change, variants, requirements, validation testing and more. The fact that simulation management is often completely disconnected from mainstream processes is a problem as there is no traceability throughout the product life-cycle loop,” says McAveney.
McAveny points to the importance of developing the "digital thread" and solutions with digital twins for predictive maintenance.
"With Comet technology we close the gap between simulation and mainstream design by giving simulation analysts methods to repeat and reuse simulation, link the analysis to product configuration and design during the product life cycle,” he summarizes.
He also points to Comet's ability to handle mixed models, different data types and representations of the same product. The same applies to assembly, which also needs to be simulated. All in all, this offers "an important aspect of managing system simulations across several technical disciplines."
The ability to extract intelligence from simulation models and results, rather than just managing data at file level, is also a big advantage over other SPDM systems on the market.
What the general setupof ANSYS’s SPDM solution EKM looks like.Others Get into the Act
Aras is not alone. PLM market leaders Siemens and Dassault Systèmes have invested heavily to beef up their simulation solutions in recent years. ANSYS, PTC, MSC, and others, are working on their own SPDM solutions.
One of the main reasons for this is the demand from customers in industrial segments that are convinced of the power of simulation and SPDM, such as automotive and aerospace."Among those who are early on to pick up SPDM (like BMW), design decisions --or simulations that led to a design decision - must be traceable," says Marc Halpern. “The test data management functions that Aras is developing with BMW will be interesting to follow. The combination of SPDM with next generation test data management can lead to exciting insights into system development that are designed or evaluated.”
Will an SPDM solution help them in their efforts? Given the above arguments, it is not unreasonable to expect some kind of difference. But, selling this type platform of is not an easy task.
In addition, one should bear in mind the built-in structural resistance in corporate organizations, where the simulation has always been its own department and the argument for a well-functioning SPDM encounters is countered with the significant costs of its implementation, especially true at large automotive and aerospace companies.
But for the bottom line, the return on investment of SPDM looks convincing enough. Even “compelling”, asserts CIMdata in its 2018 report.
Finally, Aras this week announced a partnership with Visual Collaboration Technologies (VCollab) for simulation visualization, post processing, and reporting. Aras will use the VCollab technology in SPDM processes across the lifecycle. Worth noting is the fact that VCollab can handle formats from all of the big simulation developers (ANSYS, MSC, etc.), which makes it easier to spread and understand simulation results in broader product realization teams. This is one of the greatest values with SPDM.
Managing power in chips is becoming more difficult across a wide range of applications and process nodes, forcing chipmakers and systems companies to rethink their power strategies and address problems much earlier than in the past.
While power has long been a major focus in the mobile space, power-related issues now are spreading well beyond phones and laptop computers. There are several reasons for this:
These challenges extend from data centers, where AI, networking, and telecommunications require massive amounts of energy, all the way to the edge. At 7nm, it’s not uncommon for chips to be large, sometimes at reticle size, with hundreds or thousands of processor cores. But unlike in the past, where those processors were mostly dark except for required bursts of activity, some of the new application areas require more of these processing elements to be on more often, if not all the time.
And this is where problems such as heat, electromigration, power-related noise and reliability become particularly difficult to manage.
“CPU Utilization, power management and device reliability must be tightly and accurately thermally managed on die,” said Stephen Crosher, CEO of Moortec. “Otherwise, data center electricity bills can be millions of dollars higher than necessary each year. Datacenter operators are now seeing the direct correlation between site-running costs and the thermal monitoring and management adopted way down deep within the system at chip level.”
This is driving new techniques such as real-time, in-chip thermal guard-banding to enhance the implementation of health monitoring, failure prediction and the design of higher rack density configurations. But in many cases the solutions are just barely keeping pace with the problems. Everyone wants to utilize AI/ML/DL in a chip, whether those chips are used inside data centers or at the edge, but the multiply/accumulate processing consumes a lot of energy.
“Whether you’re doing that to a specialized CNN block, as in the case of embedded vision processes, or whether you’re doing it in a graphics chip with GPUs, it’s all about multiply accumulates,” said Yudhan Rajoo, technical marketing manager for foundation IP at Synopsys. “The way we deal with this problem is primarily after the RTL has been written, by instantiating certain complex cells in the RTL by the designer in a hand-placed fashion. For example, there are large boot multiplexers — large compressors and 16-bit muxes and multipliers that we are starting to add in to reduce the overall size of the design. That reduces the number of routes that you need to make, and as you go down in nodes this reduction in number of routes saves a lot of switching power. These things are continuously running and transmitting signals, so as little connection as you can make is what really helps save power.”
These decisions start up front during the planning phase of the design. But as with any other type of design, engineering teams are very worried about design timelines and tapeout timelines, and power can have a big impact on schedules.
“There’s a big race to come up with the best neural network processing architecture, and these RTLs keep on changing until pretty much the last month of tapeout,” Rajoo said. “As a result, design teams are very worried about finding [library] solutions that give enough flexibility to modify things down the line. This has risen as a prime consideration for both SoC designers and their design managers who want to have this flexibility. These teams need a breadth of options, especially on advanced nodes, because the number of foundries that are doing the most advanced nodes is down to two, maybe three if you’re being generous.”
Within these new architectures, optimization around power is becoming a critical design element. “Low-power design is not limited to platforms like mobile or IoT,” said Dave Pursley, senior principal product manager for the Digital & Signoff Group at Cadence. “Computationally intensive algorithms are an interesting problem because the computations themselves will require a significant amount of energy to perform. In other words, there is a fairly high ‘floor’ when it comes to the amount of energy that will be consumed.”
All of this has pushed the design space well beyond just the hardware to the movement of data through a system, including what gets processed where, how precise the computation needs to be, and how it is stored and read in memory.
“Theoretically, from a dynamic switching perspective, the lowest energy solution to compute an algorithm would be to compute it as in as few clock cycles as possible and then shut off via clock gating—or better yet, via power shutoff,” Pursley said. “That minimizes the amount of ‘unproductive’ switching, such as muxing, flip-flops, and the amount clock-switching but that often is not the best tradeoff, because the required silicon area would be larger. That, in turn, increases costs, leakage, and even dynamic energy due to the higher capacitance of longer interconnects. Moreover, it may not even be feasible, especially for computationally intensive algorithms. Power is energy over time, so computing an energy-hungry algorithm in a short time may be infeasible or too costly from a power perspective.”
In these cases, it is the task of the designer and the EDA tools they use to amortize that energy over time. The goal is an acceptable power profile with minimal energy overhead, while still meeting the performance requirements of the application. So while RTL and physical optimizations can reduce power by 20% or more, the most important optimization begins with a power-efficient RTL architecture. That includes an understanding of the clock speeds of the various blocks, how they communicate with each other, what is the memory architecture and the throughput, and what is the overall power impact of the architecture. Modeling all of this remains difficult, however, largely because so many of the applications and architectures are new.
“With finFETs, with self-heating behavior, we have some history from the earliest finFETs,” said João Geada, chief technologist for the semiconductor business unit at ANSYS. “This is the part that concerns me the most. We are making parts for which we don’t really have history on the modeling side on the foundry. We have the simulation technology. If we have the models — both on the highly detailed stuff, as well as on the large-scale chip-wide stuff on our side. We do need both, but we depend critically on models, and that’s still a very challenging area.”
Still, the power problem is so large and diffuse that some higher level of abstraction is required.
“In many cases, the best way to figure this out is to use high-level synthesis (HLS) to actually create multiple RTLs with different architectures and actually measure the power with realistic stimulus,” Pursley said, noting that state-of-the-art RTL power estimation tools today can produce power estimates within 15% of sign-off. “The real trick is to ensure you have realistic stimulus for measuring power. For example, for a processor the ‘boot Linux’ test is great for functional testing and peak power analysis, but it is likely a terrible metric for optimizing average power to maximize battery life. A better stimulus would be the processor running its typical applications. It is important to use the correct stimuli, or windows of stimuli, for the correct optimization tasks. Otherwise, you or your tools will be making optimization decisions based on bad data.”
If the stimulus is known to be representative, it can also feed into the implementation tools to ensure that the same power goals and tradeoffs are being made throughout the flow. Introducing or changing stimuli late in the flow increases the chance of a non-convergent optimization flow, or at least one that takes longer to converge.
Then, as early as RTL synthesis, multi-mode, multi-corner (MMMC) optimization should be used, he said. That allows RTL physical synthesis tools to create power-optimized netlists, which include well-balanced logic to avoid glitching, optimal leakage optimization, advanced clock gating, multi-bit cell inferencing, and power-aware design-for-test.
“Like the architectural optimizations, these types of implementation optimizations have the most impact on power when introduced early in the flow,” Pursley said. “Introducing MMMC in layout or signoff changes the optimization goals partway through the flow. At best, this means that optimizations done by RTL synthesis were wasted and may be undone. At worst, you now have a flow that will take many iterations to converge through signoff, with an increased chance of a costly re-spin due to error-prone manual iterations.”
Methods for reducing power at RTL and below — power gating, clock gating, multi-Vdd, multi-threshold, DVFS — are well understood. The problem is that by the time RTL is available, the project is already well advanced and it’s too late to make any bigger changes, said Tim Kogel, principal applications engineer at Synopsys.
The biggest impact on power, energy, heat, and cost is achieved at the system level, and it works best when the design team has detailed knowledge of the end application and use cases. That allows engineers to group components into power domains that can be powered down as much as possible, as well as to define power management policy and operating points for DVFS. It also helps to figure out the best way to distribute workloads to processing and memory resources to stay within power and thermal budgets.
“The power needs to be considered and optimized well before RTL availability, at the architecture specification phase,” said Kogel. “The problem is that accurate data about the power consumption is typically not available during architecture specification phase. At best you have some data-sheet numbers and data from previous projects. It becomes worse when you try to roll up that premature data in spreadsheets because you are missing the dynamic effect of the application utilizing different components at different points in time. Even if the hardware implementation has been designed for low power, the effective power consumption is often much higher than expected because the software does not leverage the low-power mechanism provided by the hardware. Thus, a small oversight from the software developer can prevent a power domain from being shut down.”
To enable early power estimation, IEEE 1801 UPF has defined a standard format for system level power models. “This way UPF power monitors can be added to architecture models and virtual platforms for software development,” Kogel said. “Architects can analyze and optimize power based on the actual activity, and software developers become aware of the impact of their software on power consumption. Even if the power data is not accurate, trend-based analysis based on the simulated activity provides valuable insight. Later the initial power data can be refined as more accurate measurements become available.”
While characterization of system-level power models remain a challenge, it’s possible power characterization tools could be enhanced to generate system-level power models.
Power matters moreThere has never been a more pressing need to care about the power in chips as today because of the rapid rise in data generated by the proliferation of connected sensors and devices.
“In the days of PCs where the source of power supply used to be 220V AC, it was all fine,” said Mohammed Fahad, product specialist at Mentor, a Siemens Business. “But with the advent of handheld devices like smart phones and tablets, it’s not just that the geometries of the computing devices have shrunk. The devices are getting loaded with more and more apps and services. Possibilities to fabricate chips at smaller nodes have enabled the chipmakers to pack billions of transistors on even smaller silicon real-estates. With enormously complex logic going into even tinier chips, the power consumption is getting on the critical path and often causing chips to burn out. Industry research has found that power is the second most frequent reason for chip re-spins. Billions of dollars in investment are going down the drain. This is why design companies today have a very robust low power methodologies in place, built around sophisticated power estimation and optimization tools.”
Performing power estimation is about knowing the power scenario of the chip. Designers would like to understand the overall power consumption of their blocks, where the hotspots are, and which areas are overshooting the budget. In other words, where is power being wasted? If power consumption of the chip stays within the budget, it’s all good news. But what if it doesn’t?
Fahad noted that RTL power estimation tools define a problem statement for the RTL power optimization tools to address it, identify the computational redundancies in RTL, and inform the user how these redundancies in the code could be eliminated. Tools also provide ways to automatically fix these redundancies and write out the power-optimized RTL. “Optimizing the RTL for power early in the design stages pays higher dividends than engaging later in the cycle. Therefore, low-power methodology demands that power optimization should be run well before the code freeze so that it is easy to make any power-saving code changes at the RTL or architectural level-if necessary.”
There are various ways in which a chip’s power consumption can be reduced or controlled, including gating the non-observable operations on flops and memories, stopping the design toggles for stable inputs and outputs and bypassing the stable memory accesses. At the architecture level, changing the shift register operations to circular buffer, and finding a common gating condition for blocks rather than just flops also can help.
Fundamentally, the key to effective power management, from the smallest battery-operated IoT devices to the hungriest GPU and SoC designs, is drawing only the power that is really needed. Different functions on a chip should run at the lowest voltage and clock speed that can deliver the required performance, while functions not currently in use should be on standby or turned off entirely. To accomplish this, complex chips have dozens or even hundreds of power domains, each of which controls the operating state for a portion of the design.
The rules for how these domains can be manipulated are usually quite complex, and iterating through all possible legal power combinations in simulation is impractical. One solution to finding and fixing potential problems may require applying existing tools in new ways.
“Rules for which power domains should be on or off depending on what the chip is doing can be captured in the form of assertions,” said Tom Anderson, technical marketing consultant at OneSpin Solutions, noting that formal can prove that only legal combinations of power domain settings are possible, or generate tests showing violations if there are bugs in the design. “Formal verification can prove that these rules are satisfied under all conditions or report bugs. Finding and fixing power-related issues pre-silicon is critical to avoid a chip that doesn’t work because key functions are powered down, or one that suffers thermal breakdown when too much of the chip is turned on at the same time.”
For this, power estimation isn’t enough. “It’s not that we shouldn’t do anything at the RTL,” said Madgy Abadir, vice president of marketing at Helic. “You can run some RTL power estimation and do things like that, but it is not sufficient. Anything you can do to improve on your design at the RTL is always a plus, but it’s not going to be the full answer. Especially at the physical level, there are phenomena such as thermal and electromagnetic effects, and these effects can only be seen once the layout is complete. Once you have the actual physics, such as the IR drop, analysis needs to happen on the real physical layout that you are planning to implement. Only when you see the effects can you decide if it is acceptable or not. This is not something that can be characterized early on and just put it in a library.”
Especially for high-power-consuming chips like GPUs, a lot depends on the application that is running.
“When people develop GPUs, it’s like developing a microprocessor in the old days,” Abadir said. “They don’t know exactly what applications people will be running, and it is general-purpose. There might be many, many customers and applications that would change over time. It may take a couple of years for that to get developed from the time it’s in RTL to the time it is on the shelf. During that time a lot of software gets written, a lot of apps will be developed. The algorithms are where the optimization needs to happen, and some of it depends on what type of algorithm you need to be running. If you’re doing pattern matching or if you’re doing sorting or searching, there are many different ways of executing these types of tasks. Every one of them has a different power, a different performance kind of characteristic. Depending on what you’re trying to do and how good your software developers are, at the end of the day, this is what determines the actual power consumption of the task.”
This is where knowledge of the end application really helps. “If I am developing a GPU and have knowledge of the type of application that would run on my chip eventually, which in a lot of cases people do, they try to do performance modeling and power modeling in the early stages to figure out the architecture — which type and what to do,” he said. “When it comes to power, it’s a very difficult problem. The problem is how to estimate power at the high level. Some approach this from a characterization point of view, which means you characterize gates and cells, the worst case for timing and for power. But in many cases, such as with GPUs, we’re doing things that have not been done before. Where do you get the models? We’re estimating at the high level how much power is required, and this can be a guessing game because it’s not accurate and can be way off from what happens with the real chips. This is because the actual power consumption has to do with the actual physical attributes of the chip.”
Another significant factor is the choice of algorithm. There may be several different sorting algorithms, for example, each of which may run at a different speed or have different memory requirements. The tradeoffs here can have a big impact on how much power is used, though.
“As a developer of the chip, at the RTL what do I do? I developed the GPU that can add and multiply, go through memory and get things to operate in parallel, have multiple threads,” Abadir said. “Most of the techniques for lowering the power come in the implementation stage for these type of chips, so doing it early requires control of the application. I need to control the algorithm. ‘Early’ means the keys are in the hands of the software people. ‘Later’ means the keys are in the hands of the hardware people. It might be both of them operating in hardware-software co-design, but later on somebody will pick the algorithm, and now the hardware guy needs to tweak all the possible things that are clock gating.”
ConclusionThe semiconductor industry is coming to grips with the fact that general-purpose chips are no longer the path forward. The new currency is data, and processing that data quickly with blazing fast throughput and access to memory are key design elements.
But making this happen without burning up a chip is a massive and growing challenge, and it’s only getting harder as the volume of data increases and the benefits of device scaling decrease. Power is the main gating factor, and it’s becoming much more difficult to fix as compute architectures and demand for processing continue to rise.
Power Modeling And Analysis
Taming NBTI To Improve Device Reliability
Designing For Ultra-Low-Power IoT Devices
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Novell [37 Certification Exam(s) ]
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PayPal [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
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Polycom [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
PostgreSQL-CE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
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PsychCorp [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
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Trainers [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
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Vmware [58 Certification Exam(s) ]
Wonderlic [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Worldatwork [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
XML-Master [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Zend [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
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