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Reap the benefits of optimized workload management software

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How do you speed up time to market for electronics in an industry that’s already moving at a rapid-fire pace? One answer is better resource utilization through effective workload management solutions.

Mentor Graphics, a US-based global leader in electronic design automation, has a mission to enable companies to deliver better electronic products more quickly and cost-effectively. To give you a sense of where its electronics are used, you might find its next-generation processors in smartphones, tablets, webcams, domestic and industrial sensors (welcome to the Internet of Things), drones, connected cars and even household appliances.

The semiconductor and microelectronics industries where Mentor Graphics operates are places of rapid change in today’s world. Because chip design and fabrication techniques are improving constantly and at a fast pace, time-to-market is a very important metric for the company—and Mentor Graphics wanted to find a way to verify the designs of next-generation chips more efficiently.

Getting the most from a high-value emulation platform

Mentor’s Veloce Emulation Platform uses high-performance computing for simulation and testing of chips before they are physically fabricated. Using the Veloce platform, its customers can achieve up to 10,000 times the performance of a conventional simulation. As you can imagine, this emulator is an extremely high-value resource for the company, and maximizing its efficient use was a critical need, so Mentor Graphics started using IBM Spectrum LSF workload management software.

IBM Spectrum LSF is a comprehensive workload management solution designed for high-performance computing (HPC) environments. It’s essentially scheduling software that can help organizations improve resource utilization. Spectrum LSF is part of the IBM Spectrum Computing family of software-defined computing infrastructure solutions for new-generation technologies, HPC and high-performance analytics.

Seeing the advantages of Spectrum LSF internally, Mentor decided it wanted to more tightly integrate it into the Veloce platform to enable better utilization and more fine-grained control over policies. To ensure its envisioned outcome, Mentor worked with a technical team from IBM Spectrum Computing Development that’s skilled in the deep technical features of the LSF software, and with IBM Systems Lab Services’ Spectrum Computing team, which has the technical project management skills to execute and manage this complex integration process.

Better resource utilization and more

After integrating the Spectrum LSF solution with its emulation platform, Mentor Graphics saw 25 percent higher utilization of costly compute resources. Most important, Mentor and IBM customers are now able to prioritize compute jobs more intelligently to cut testing cycle times. Moreover, it has boosted efficiency by providing advanced suspend/resume/relocate functionality, which allows high-priority jobs to be executed first while less-critical ones are temporarily suspended.

Ultimately, the integration between Spectrum LSF and the Veloce platform helps with achieving the best balance between competing jobs—without the need for human intervention.

Read the Mentor Graphics case study for more details on the project.

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