Computational software is the implementation of numerical algorithms for the design and analysis of the physical characteristics of devices. The electronic design automation (EDA) industry is built on computational software for chip, package, and board design.
Continued innovations in computational software are advancing the design of complex electronics to build devices that are smarter, smaller, and use less power. With technologies such as data centers, smart devices, 5G communications, building and home automation, self-driving cars, and healthcare enabled by remarkable advances in system and hardware design, it's imperative to the future of technology.
Today’s computational software applications span numerous industries, including semiconductors, systems, weather prediction, scientific software, and financial, medical, and business analytics. It is also used heavily in today’s AI and machine learning algorithms.
One company using computational software to its benefit is Cadence, the San Jose-based company that develops electronic design automation, software, hardware, and silicon intellectual property technologies. Cadence is a pivotal leader in electronic design, building upon more than 30 years of computational software expertise.
“The main strength we have at Cadence is computational software—doing all of this numerical analysis,” Anirudh Devgan, president of Cadence told Semiconductor Engineering in an interview. “That’s what EDA has done for years. We want to extend that into the system and AI space. This is enterprise-class numerical software. The interesting thing in this space is AI is inherently computation.”
Computational software has been the DNA of the EDA software industry for multiple decades, delivering major capability and productivity advances in hardware design.
Multiple industries now require computations that support hundreds of thousands to millions of elements; this a level the EDA industry conquered one to two decades ago, now supporting designs with billions of elements.
The complex computational software, which has driven advances in efficiency, product quality, and computes power advances for hardware design, has recently enabled new breakthroughs in two adjacent areas: system design and hardware design.
Computational design tools provide an easy way to harness the power of computation in a design process without having to learn how to write code. These tools let architects and designers create their own tools. There’s no one piece of software that can do everything a business needs it to. However, by creating their own tools, companies can tailor their software to work for them.