There are many microelectronics design tools (individual transistors through system-level architecture); however, these often rely upon High-Performance Computing (HPC) resources that are not readily available or useable to many. Other non-scalable tools are insufficient to handle the complexity and scale of modern computing architectures. In the HPC community, the Structural Simulation Toolkit (SST) provides a framework to connect multiple simulated hardware objects, and has already been integrated with gem5, which provides detailed computer architecture performance simulations, to enable scalable modeling on HPC systems. This combination enables powerful exploration of a vast design space with detailed simulations but is inaccessible to much of the design community. Other open-source modeling tools such as LAMMPS (for molecular dynamics/atomistic modeling) are already available on GPU clouds (e.g. SABALCORE) but are not offered as a suite of microelectronics-focused application software with expert support.
Fen is currently exploring the concept of porting and adapting the SST/gem5 combination onto a GPU-powered cloud platform (NVIDIA NIMBIX) along with other related computing architecture design tools (e.g. McPAT, ExaSAT), develop a standardized user-friendly GUI/webapp interface, and provide commercial support to get users up and running with a minimum of friction. While currently still in the early stages, when ready, the offered service will provide a suite of scalable computing architecture design tools with low barrier to entry (minimum complexity and cost) and a support system to ensure success.
These design tools are ideal forsmall to medium-sized businesses who are designing microelectronics, such as microprocessors/microcontrollers, GPUs, systems-on-a-chip (SOC), and custom VLSI (very large-scale integration). Currently such HPC-powered microelectronics design tools are notreadily accessible without major in-house resources for high performance computing and are thus out of reach for all but the largest of businesses. Even when they are obtainable, such resources are expensive to install, maintain, and keep up to date. The software currently available is complex to learn and operate, having no GUI front end or customer support. The solution offered by Fen provides low-cost access to this large suite of design tools AND lowers the learning curve to use and operate throughan GUI/web interface and technical support.