There’s a handful of EDA companies exploiting the potential speed up from GPUs:

Agilent – EM simulation using NVIDIA
Mentor – RET using Cell BE
Nascentric – FastSPICE using NVIDIA
Gauda – OPC using NVIDIA

The typical barrier to adopting GPUs is simple, you have to re-write your code. Many EDA companies do not want to re-write code because it is too costly in terms of time or perhaps the original software architect has moved on to another project or company and isn’t available to explore the benefits.

The technology competitor to GPUs is to simply stick with AMD and Intel CPUs on their quest to add more cores. This approach still requires a software re-write to keep each core busy.

I was impressed to learn last week that Synopsys is now offering multicore support in their FastSPICE simulators under the new product name CustomSim (NanoSim, HSIM, XA). Users don’t have to pay any extra upgrade fee to get the benefit of speed improvements using multicore workstations. Other EDA vendors are charging extra for multicore support.

Perhaps start-ups will lead the way in using GPUs and multicore to maximum benefit, then get acquired by the established EDA vendors.