Hey, it really isn't rocket science: Synopsys CEO/Chairman Aart de Geus has listed five methods processor manufacturers can use to lower overall IC design costs:
- Fewer IC design flows.
- Systematic verification.
- Systematic IP reuse.
- Platform-based design.
- Structured software development methodologies.
Not exactly rocket science, but a good list nonetheless. de Geus taps the growing complexity of verification as the major cost-related problem. He also noted that growing photomask complexity is starting to outpace the compute power in mask shops. Although the overall cost of photomasks is relatively flat, the complexity of the resolution enhancement techniques has leaped to a growth rate of 40 percent a year. More compute power to keep up with that increasing intricacy is costly. (For one answer to this problem, see "It came from the Fab: IBM, Mentor push CL to 22nm.")
So what good's fast hardware without fast software?
A look at HPC file system software: This Enterprise Storage Forum roundup does a quick look at high-performance file systems, outlining the options of each and pointing to the applications they are appropriate for. Because, what good is Cell/B.E.-level processor power without a file system that can keep up? For example:
- IBM GPFS: A high-performance, shared disk, clustered file system for AIX and Linux. Good for environments that require performance, fault tolerance, and high capacity (relational databases, CRM, Web 2.0 and media applications, engineering, financial applications, data archiving).
- Panasas PanFS: Designed for scale-out applications that require high performance in both I/O and bandwidth. Compatible with the upcoming Parallel NFS (pNFS) standard. Designed for file storage, not block storage, so isn't usually used for transaction-oriented applications.
- HP File Services: Favors symmetry over parallelism. Not designed for high-performance computing applications that require more than 6GBps throughput.
- Quantum StorNext: Designed for media-rich application environments; if you're using Apple .... It's a heterogeneous, shared file system with integrated archive.