IT Collaboration Propels Silicon Design and Development

The complexity of chip design is growing exponentially. To meet escalating customer expectations across multiple market segments, product leadership is a must. The number one thing IT can do for Intel is find solutions to accelerate the product design and development cycle. In today's high-velocity customer driven markets, accelerating schedules across product design, test, manufacturing, and supply chain requires a high degree of collaboration. At Intel, IT participates in daily "war rooms" with internal customers to learn the business needs and reduce pain points, especially in System on a Chip (SoC) design. Competitive advantage goes to those who are able to rapidly customize product design to deliver differentiated products ahead of the competition.

At Intel we’re on a journey to deliver value through year-over-year time to market acceleration. We use Business Intelligence (BI), drawing from massive volumes of interconnected data and advanced analytics to optimize key steps in the product design and validation process. How do you turn years of data into actionable information? Last year we saw a dramatic 15 week time to market improvement on a major new design project.  This illustrates how we apply our actionable insights to next generation projects so they can take advantage of these market acceleration gains. Our underlying process is three pronged:

  • Maximize global IT and eDesign resources to increase capacity
  • Match and optimize workloads to the right compute and design resources at the right time
  • Leverage business intelligence using machine learning, advanced analytics, and reporting

Data centers, compute resources, and test/validation machines are assets in high demand across the enterprise. IT helps Intel leverage these resources, including high value capital equipment, by making them available to design teams around the world through a global private cloud. Where other companies would be thrilled with a 40-50% utilization of their assets, Intel design compute resources has a utilization rate of 90%. We invested in software to queue workloads and release them into the computing environment when capacity is available. This way, we make sure we obtain the most value  out of every server. This global emulation strategy minimizes the need to build in expensive extra capacity in multiple sites. Matching the right compute resources, from any location in the world, to the design work required at just the right time is a game changer in the race to accelerate product design and development cycles.

Using high-performance computing and advanced analytics we run 11 million jobs/day—that's over 4 billion jobs per year. We analyze that data against over 10 years of information on design flows and test coverage to get smarter every day. Machine learning and predictive analytics deliver BI to optimize design flows and test case coverage. For one System on a Chip (SoC) project, BI drove detection of 15-20% of defects a full quarter ahead of schedule. We use this information to reduce test time by eliminating overlapping test cycles. In fact, in 2015 we cut our total test cases down and drove 25-30% faster validation.

Intel is entering a number of markets with new and increasingly complex design requirements. IT is accountable to the business goals which are driven by customers demand. We rely on innovation to shorten typically long lead times for SoC products in every market segment and drive business value and product leadership for Intel. Collaboration is at the heart of business success. Three years ago IT was pushing solutions to business units. Now IT is being pulled in as a partner to drive solutions and accelerate time to market. By partnering with product design teams across the company, IT is in a position to share successes. All product design and development groups can benefit from best known methods to work smarter and faster to realize acceleration in getting products to market. How are your collaborating in your organization to fuel innovation and efficiency? Take a look at the 2015-2016 Intel IT Annual Performance Report to spark a conversation to accelerate your business goals.