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New Product: Voltaire and Synopsys offer HPC for mask prep cycle-time reduction

11 September 2007 | By Mark Osborne | Product Briefings > Lithography

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TSMCProduct Briefing Outline: Voltaire and Synopsys are developing a high-performance compute (HPC) cluster solution for semiconductor mask data-preparation (MDP) applications. The HPC solution, which consists of the Synopsys CATS MDP solution running on a high-performance compute infrastructure with Voltaire InfiniBand and DataDirect Networks’ storage, reduced MDP turnaround time by up to 4X compared to clusters using Gigabit Ethernet, according to the companies.

Problem: With advanced semiconductor design files rapidly approaching one terabyte (1TB) in size, controlling data processing efficiency and cycle time has emerged as a top challenge for the industry. The greatest impact is felt in the design data to manufacturing data translation step – also known as mask data prep. Synopsys has teamed with Voltaire, other external suppliers and internal Synopsys IT resources to deliver next-generation, high-performance MDP compute solutions that are intended to be highly scalable and reliable.

Solution: With the use an NFS-based system with Gigabit Ethernet, for example, at a certain point one becomes I/O-bound and cannot extract further performance from the file system. In contrast, with a parallel file system, high-performance storage and a Voltaire InfiniBand fabric, the application benefits from the aggregate performance of multiple file servers and can scale without significant performance degradation, it is claimed.  Originally developed for Synopsys in-house testing and now available to customers, the new HPC solution delivers high-performance file I/O using the ‘Lustre’ parallel file system from Cluster File Systems (CFS), DataDirect Networks’ S2A (Silicon Storage Appliance) and the Voltaire ‘Grid Director’ 10 Gigabits/second InfiniBand switches, which use Mellanox Technologies’ InfiniBand silicon solutions. Using the HPC solution, CATS has claimed to have demonstrated up to a 4X improvement over Gigabit Ethernet-based solutions. In one case, a job was completed in four hours instead of the 16 hours typically required, according to Synopsys.

Applications: High-performance compute (HPC) cluster solution for semiconductor mask data-preparation (MDP) applications.

Platform: The HPC solution delivers high-performance file I/O using the ‘Lustre’ parallel file system from Cluster File Systems (CFS), DataDirect Networks’ S2A (Silicon Storage Appliance) and the Voltaire ‘Grid Director’ 10 Gigabits/second InfiniBand switches, which use Mellanox Technologies’ InfiniBand silicon solutions.

Availability: September 2007 onwards.

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