The hottest Hardware Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
Top Technology Topics
The Chip Letter • 3168 implied HN points • 25 Feb 24
  1. Google developed the first Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) to accelerate machine learning tasks, marking a shift towards specialized hardware in the computing landscape.
  2. The TPU project at Google displayed the ability to rapidly innovate and deploy custom hardware at scale, showcasing a nimble approach towards development.
  3. Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) showcased significant cost and performance advantages in machine learning tasks, leading to widespread adoption within Google and demonstrating the importance of dedicated hardware in the field.
Big Technology • 6380 implied HN points • 23 Feb 24
  1. NVIDIA's software edge is a significant factor in its success, making it hard for competitors to match.
  2. Customers buy and reorder NVIDIA's products due to the difficulty of switching off its proprietary software.
  3. NVIDIA's dominance in the AI industry is sustained through its software advantage, influencing customer decisions and orders.
Dan’s MEGA65 Digest • 5 implied HN points • 25 Feb 24
  1. MEGA65 platform release v0.96 is now available for upgrade, after 14 months of enhancements to the FPGA core, MEGA65 ROM, and system software.
  2. Different instructions are provided for MEGA65 owners, Xemu emulator users, DevKit owners, and Nexys dev board users regarding upgrading to the release v0.96 version.
  3. Notable changes in v0.96 include support for Ethernet file transfer, new hardware typing event queue, and improvements to chipset, Freezer, SD card utility, and Configuration utility.
The Chip Letter • 4224 implied HN points • 18 Feb 24
  1. Designs that were not commercially successful can still be interesting and hold value for learning.
  2. Intel's 8085 microprocessor, while not a bad design, was overshadowed by Zilog's Z80 due to lack of major improvements.
  3. Signetics 2650 microprocessor faced limitations such as delayed time to market and segmented memory, showing the importance of timely releases and memory efficiency.
The Chip Letter • 6548 implied HN points • 11 Feb 24
  1. The newsletter is introducing 'Chiplets,' shorter and more varied posts for the readers.
  2. Readers have the option to opt-in to receive 'Chiplets' in their inbox to avoid filling it with too many emails.
  3. The 'Chiplets' will cover a mix of historical and current topics in a more informal and fun way, offering a new format for readers.
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Investing 101 • 27 implied HN points • 24 Feb 24
  1. The history of venture capital reveals a significant role played by hardware companies in the tech industry's early days, tracing back to the 1950s and even earlier.
  2. The decline in hardware investment by VCs in favor of software has had implications on manufacturing and American industrial capabilities, with a recent resurgence in manufacturing employment in the US.
  3. The recent interest in hard tech and manufacturing by VCs has led to a new wave of investment, sparked by success stories like SpaceX and Nvidia, raising concerns about hype cycles and the need for a deeper understanding of the complexities of hard tech startups.
The Chip Letter • 8449 implied HN points • 30 Dec 23
  1. The Chip Letter had 75 posts, over 500,000 views, and gained over 7,000 new subscribers in 2023.
  2. Highlighted posts included the story of Erlang at WhatsApp, the disappearance of minicomputers, and a celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Integrated Circuit.
  3. 2024 will bring posts on the history of microcontrollers, Moore's Law, the Motorola 6800, '8-bit', GPUs, TPUs, and more, with a 20% discount available for new annual subscriptions.
SemiAnalysis • 8586 implied HN points • 10 Oct 23
  1. Google, AMD, Intel, Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft are all gearing up to challenge Nvidia's AI dominance.
  2. Nvidia is maintaining its hardware lead but facing increasing competition.
  3. Nvidia's supply chain mastery and potentially anti-competitive business tactics are key factors in their strategy.
SemiAnalysis • 4141 implied HN points • 01 Nov 23
  1. AMD's MI300 is positioned as a strong competitor in LLM inference against Nvidia and Google hardware.
  2. Major companies like Microsoft, Meta, Oracle, Google, and Amazon have already placed orders for AMD MI300.
  3. AMD's Datacenter GPU revenue is expected to reach over $2 billion in 2024 with strong demand from customers and supply constraints.
The Rectangle • 113 implied HN points • 09 Feb 24
  1. The release of the Vision Pro highlights a split in culture between bootlickers and contrarians.
  2. Bootlickers overly defend products and praise them, while contrarians overly criticize and find flaws in them.
  3. Algorithmisation exacerbates this cultural division by boosting controversial content and leading us into binary situations.
Low Latency Trading Insights • 196 implied HN points • 02 Feb 24
  1. Solarflare specializes in high-performance, low-latency networking solutions like NICs used in data centers and financial services.
  2. Solarflare provides hardware such as Flareon adapters and XtremeScale NICs for high-speed networking.
  3. Software offerings from Solarflare like Onload and TCP Direct provide APIs for accelerated network performance and lower latency.
Fprox’s Substack • 39 implied HN points • 12 Feb 24
  1. Softmax is a non-linear normalization layer commonly used in neural networks to compute probabilities of multiple classes.
  2. When implementing Softmax, numerical stability is crucial due to exponential function's rapid growth, requiring clever techniques to prevent overflow.
  3. RISC-V Vector (RVV) can be used to efficiently implement complex functions like Softmax, with stable and accurate results compared to naive implementations.
Dana Blankenhorn: Facing the Future • 39 implied HN points • 05 Feb 24
  1. The era of the Cloud Czars is defined by five key companies: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Meta.
  2. Building clouds and investing in the Cloud game was a key risk that many companies failed to take on, leading to their decline.
  3. In the tech industry, failure to take risks can be fatal, as highlighted by the success of the Cloud Czars who embraced the challenge.
lcamtuf’s thing • 1145 implied HN points • 13 Oct 23
  1. Setting up a Linux toolchain for Cortex-M microcontrollers can be challenging but beneficial.
  2. When setting up the toolchain, ensure to get the Cortex-M cross-compiler, CMSIS library, and Device Family Pack.
  3. Compiling and programming the device requires additional steps like using the newlib C library and flashing the binary onto the chip.
The Chip Letter • 2534 implied HN points • 25 Jul 23
  1. Intel announced APX, the next evolution of Intel architecture, with improvements in registers and performance
  2. The introduction of APX includes doubling the number of general purpose registers, new instructions, and enhancements for better performance
  3. Intel also revealed a new vector ISA, AVX10, to establish a common vector instruction set across all architectures
Goto 10: The Newsletter for Atari Enthusiasts • 137 implied HN points • 12 Jan 24
  1. NeoDesk was a desktop alternative for the Atari ST with enhanced features and better functionality.
  2. Key features of NeoDesk included improved memory usage, custom app icons, better window handling, and desktop background picture.
  3. NeoDesk versions like 3 and 4 continued to enhance functionality with features like low-resolution support, draggable dialog boxes, and drag-and-drop file launching.
More Than Moore • 167 implied HN points • 04 Jan 24
  1. At CES, AMD announced new automotive APUs for in-car entertainment, driver safety, and autonomous driving.
  2. The new AMD chips support a gaming experience in cars, with potential for multiple displays and better graphics performance.
  3. AMD's acquisition of Xilinx enhances their presence in automotive technology, particularly in ADAS with their Versal AI Edge processors.
Let's talk games & AI. • 4 implied HN points • 19 Feb 24
  1. In about 7.5 years, there is potential for playing any game experience whenever you want.
  2. The speed of GenAI model advancements will likely lead to faster response times for gaming.
  3. Over the next few years, GenAI will revolutionize how games are created and played through user-generated content, dynamic gaming experiences, and cloud gaming solutions.
thezvi • 11 HN points • 13 Feb 24
  1. Reviews highlight the Apple Vision Pro's impressive entertainment features but express disappointment in its productivity capabilities.
  2. There are concerns raised about the weight, battery life, and setup process of the device.
  3. The potential for the Apple Vision Pro to excel in specific use cases, such as watching movies and immersive experiences, is noted, while its value for productivity is still uncertain.
Goto 10: The Newsletter for Atari Enthusiasts • 78 implied HN points • 19 Jan 24
  1. Prospero Software made compilers for Atari ST and other systems like Sinclair QL and OS/2.
  2. Prospero Pascal was an extensive system with manuals totaling 718 pages, making it one of the most detailed ST development tools.
  3. The integration capability of Prospero compilers allowed for sharing libraries between Prospero Pascal, C, and Fortran, giving a unique advantage in the market.
Artificial Ignorance • 54 implied HN points • 19 Jan 24
  1. A new Google Deepmind model named AlphaGeometry can solve International Math Olympiad problems at a near-gold medalist level.
  2. OpenAI is addressing concerns about AI in worldwide elections by focusing on preventing abuse, transparency of AI content, and improving access to voting information.
  3. Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event introduced new AI features for Samsung phones, including live translation and AI-powered note organization.
Fight to Repair • 78 implied HN points • 21 Dec 23
  1. Polish hackers faced legal pushback after repairing a train that a manufacturer attempted to render inoperable remotely, highlighting the risks of DRM and anti-competitive behavior.
  2. DRM controls extend to various devices like farm equipment and cars, restricting repairs to authorized technicians and limiting consumer choice, highlighting the need for right to repair laws.
  3. Companies use DRM and legal threats to control products, emphasizing profit over consumer rights, leading to the rise of the 'landlord economy' where users pay for ownership and usage rights.