Marvell and AWS Strategic Alignment Across Cloud EDA and Chips
by Daniel Newman | March 1, 2023

The Six Five team discusses Marvell and AWS’s strategic alignment across Cloud EDA and chips.

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Patrick Moorhead: Marvell and AWS, baby. We’re trading EDA for chips. So a couple mega trends going on here. So first off is, when you have spiky workloads like EDA… For those who don’t know what EDA is, I’m going to ask you… Don’t yawn when I’m talking. Be nice, man. No. EDA is electronic design automation, and that’s essentially the software and services that are used to build, test, verify IP blocks, chips and SOCs. What has happened is the two leaders in this cadence and synopsis have added AI to these. And so we got into a situation where they turned into spiky workloads, right? You could 10X the amount of CPUs and GPU’s against it and you would get an answer quicker. When it comes to time to market for something like an IP block, a chip, or an SOC, time is money. And also you can reduce the amount of people who are actually working on it, which is a big thing.

We saw that through cadence with its Verisium platform that says it can improve debug by 10X. So a spiky workload where you 10X it is really good for the public cloud, because you don’t have to have 10X your normal compute like you would have if you did it on-prem. It’s like retail where they have very spiky workloads around the holidays. That’s why a lot of the retailers have moved their burst capability into the public cloud. So that is what EDA is, and Marvell announced that it was moving EDA to AWS’s public cloud. They weren’t clear exactly which instances, which services, which file system, but that’s okay. I’ve got a link in the Forbes article that shows you what they could do.

The second part of the announcement was that for the first time AWS is admitting that Marvell is a big customer. I think you and I both knew that just based on the space that Marvell was in. And when they talk about how well they do in cloud and what they offer, you would probably be in the minority if you are not using a Marvell piece of silicon. Not a surprise to me. Again, whether it’s cloud storage, electro optics, DPUs, networking, hardware security modules, they’re really a leader in that. They also have something that I think is very unique, there’s only a few vendors that can provide this, is a very flexible business model. You can buy chips from them as a merchant silicon provider. They partner where they will put your IP in their SOC. Heck, they’ll build an entire custom ASIC, and they compete very heavily with Broadcom on this. And then, heck, they’ll integrate it. You want a merchant solution from them added to a custom ASIC added to partner IP, they can do this as well. So win-win for both companies. I was really impressed to see Dave Brown doesn’t quote a lot. We’ve had Dave Brown on the Six Five I think two or three times. You don’t see him giving a lot of support quotes, but we absolutely got a big support quote from him, and people can’t look at that too lightly. Master show of support.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, I think streamlining silicon design processes, of course, are going to be looked upon favorably here. It seemed like it was a little light in terms of the depth of the news and exactly how this is going to set up in AWS’s ecosystem, but I could see the value of the partnership. Marvell wants to sell more chips to AWS and AWS is going to continue to build and optimize silicon. It seems like it’s a really nice tie-up, Pat. Didn’t see anything specifically about the numbers or the expected size of the deal and what it means for each company. To me, like I said, it really reads more like a cooperation, collaboration, a core investment to streamline designing, debugging, verification of IP blocks. You hit most of it for me. It just looks like something that could be done faster, being optimized.

And of course, like I said, it never hurts when you’re a company like Marvell that’s providing technology to many of the world’s largest cloud scale companies and other industries as well to be tied up with the largest public cloud company in the world. So it was a good win for Matt and Rajiv and team. And of course, like you said, Dave Brown tends to be careful to lend his name to anything except for the Six Five, comes down all the time, and so it’s indicative of how confident he is in the partnership.

About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Chief Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio