The hottest Semiconductors Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
Top Technology Topics
SemiAnalysis • 7475 implied HN points • 16 Mar 24
  1. CXL technology was once thought to revolutionize data center hardware, but many projects have been shelved in favor of other advancements.
  2. CXL is not likely to be the go-to interconnect for AI applications due to limitations in availability and deeper issues in the era of accelerated computing.
  3. The main challenges with CXL include PCIe SerDes limitations, competition from proprietary protocols for AI clusters, and the need for improvements in chip design for bandwidth efficiency.
SemiAnalysis • 7677 implied HN points • 09 Feb 24
  1. Hybrid bonding is a major innovation in semiconductor manufacturing, impacting design processes and supply chains.
  2. There are engineering challenges in bringing hybrid bonding to high volume production, with a focus on cleanliness, surface smoothness, and alignment accuracy.
  3. Wafers are bonded using advanced techniques such as wafer-to-wafer or die-to-wafer processes based on alignment accuracy, throughput, and bond yields.
The Chip Letter • 6372 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.
The Asianometry Newsletter • 3553 implied HN points • 07 Mar 24
  1. The trillion-dollar investment in AI chips does raise skepticism, with questions about its sustainability and impact on the semiconductor industry.
  2. The concept of scaling laws, driving investments, presents interesting parallels to Moore's Law in the semiconductor industry, suggesting potential future impact on AI.
  3. Competition in AI chips, particularly against Nvidia, is heating up as tech giants aim for vertical integration, potentially shifting the landscape of AI chip design and market dynamics.
Get a weekly roundup of the best Substack posts, by hacker news affinity:
The Chip Letter • 8222 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.
Irrational Analysis • 159 implied HN points • 23 May 24
  1. Irrational Analysis is heavily invested in the semiconductor industry, giving insights into the comical undervaluation of NASDAQ:ARM.
  2. Nvidia's massive demand for GB200 and Grace CPUs could have significant implications for ARM (LTD)'s value and future performance.
  3. Nvidia Grace CPUs might exceed sell-side expectations, potentially propelling ARM (LTD) value beyond current projections.
Irrational Analysis • 239 implied HN points • 15 May 24
  1. The Dell leak suggests Qualcomm's upcoming laptop chips have a base-case gross-margin of 52%, significantly benefitting $QCOM while posing challenges for $INTC.
  2. Qualcomm is dominating Intel in Bill of Materials (BOM) cost, with Dell still saving money even before subsidies, showcasing the impact of the PMIC fiasco on Intel.
  3. Qualcomm's laptops are expected to offer nearly double the real-world battery life compared to Intel's, showcasing a major market advantage in terms of battery life and potentially leading to substantial market share gains.
Irrational Analysis • 79 implied HN points • 20 May 24
  1. Ampere Computing is likely facing challenges as most of their customers have transitioned to other solutions.
  2. Despite unique product advantages, Ampere Computing is struggling as customers are moving to alternatives in the market.
  3. Lack of transparency on technical details raises doubts about Ampere Computing's innovation and competitiveness in the semiconductor industry.
SemiAnalysis • 4040 implied HN points • 14 Sep 23
  1. Arm is focusing on increasing their pricing and extracting more value from their innovative architecture and licensing model.
  2. Arm's dominance in smartphone instruction sets gives them leverage to potentially raise pricing significantly, similar to Qualcomm's successful pricing strategy.
  3. The IPO and change in business model showcase Arm's potential to boost revenues and profits by optimizing their pricing strategies and pursuing growth opportunities.
Irrational Analysis • 339 implied HN points • 30 Mar 24
  1. Nvidia's GB200 NVL72 poses an existential threat to competitors in the datacenter CPU market, offering a unique 2:1 ratio and improved integration perspective.
  2. The reintroduction of mainframes signifies a strategic move by Nvidia, with the new AI mainframe/appliance providing massive TCO advantages and performance gains.
  3. Jensen's benevolent trade offer complements technical excellence in the face of political challenges, aiming to secure Nvidia's position in the market and potentially disrupt the status quo.
Mule’s Musings • 411 implied HN points • 03 Mar 24
  1. Investing in semiconductors involves identifying secular trends and market dislocations for potential opportunities.
  2. HBM technology is driving a significant change in the memory industry, with SK Hynix being highlighted as a key player to watch for.
  3. Suppliers in the memory market are strategically shifting focus and investments towards HBM, anticipating a boost in market demand and profitability in the coming years.
Interconnected • 446 implied HN points • 27 Feb 24
  1. Japan's semiconductor industry is making a strong effort to attract TSMC and boost chip manufacturing through government support and strategic investments.
  2. Kumamoto in Japan is proving to be a successful hub for TSMC with speedy construction, substantial government subsidies, and efforts to welcome and retain Taiwanese employees.
  3. Soft touches like cultural support, language programs, and local community integration are enhancing the success of TSMC's venture in Kumamoto, highlighting the importance of human factors in high-tech industries.
The Chip Letter • 3288 implied HN points • 19 Mar 23
  1. Arm's success was built on strategic partnerships and a unique licensing business model.
  2. The development of Thumb instruction set allowed Arm to address code size and attract key customers like Nokia and TI.
  3. Arm's growth and financial stability were further solidified by partnerships with companies like Samsung and the creation of the StrongARM line.
ChinAI Newsletter • 609 implied HN points • 22 Jan 24
  1. China's chip imports dropped for the first time in consecutive years due to geopolitical factors and increased demand in emerging industries like 5G and AI.
  2. China has been focusing on localizing chip production to reduce the trade deficit, with the self-sufficiency rate increasing from 16.6% in 2020 to 23.3% in 2023.
  3. In the past ten years, China's chip industry experienced significant growth, with chip imports and exports doubling in quantity and value.
Irrational Analysis • 219 implied HN points • 23 Mar 24
  1. HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) is a new and important type of DRAM that has gained significance in the industry for its relevance to AI.
  2. The DRAM market, volatile in nature, has seen Micron making gains in HBM and facing challenges from competitors like Samsung with poor HBM yields.
  3. Investors interested in the HBM market need to be cautious due to the market's volatility and the potential impact of competitors like Samsung on HBM gross margins.
Irrational Analysis • 159 implied HN points • 03 Apr 24
  1. The Intel event highlighted concerning trends, particularly in product competitiveness and margins, with challenges in execution and manufacturing processes.
  2. Intel's strategic shift towards insourcing and reducing external foundry partnerships suggests significant changes in their manufacturing approach.
  3. Despite efforts to improve, Intel faces a tough road ahead with the need for advanced technology developments and a challenging competitive landscape.
ChinaTalk • 637 implied HN points • 04 Jan 24
  1. TikTok has defied early predictions of regulatory restrictions in the US due to vested interests and political dynamics.
  2. The splintering of cross-border VC firms like Sequoia and GGV Capital is a tangible impact of US-China relations.
  3. Chinese EVs are dominating globally, posing a challenge to traditional automakers and highlighting the US infrastructure gap.
Philoinvestor • 491 implied HN points • 26 Jan 24
  1. NVIDIA's stock price increased significantly faster than its earnings, raising questions about its valuation.
  2. The launch of Chat GPT led to a surge in demand for GPUs and an uptick in NVIDIA's stock.
  3. Microsoft's $10 billion investment in Open AI and the AI hype train are contributing factors to the current market dynamics.
The Asianometry Newsletter • 2368 implied HN points • 24 May 23
  1. In the late 1980s, Japanese firms dominated the lithography market, overtaking American suppliers.
  2. The US led the early semiconductor industry, influencing chip development and government interest.
  3. Japan's VLSI project in the 1970s propelled their indigenous semiconductor industry through collaborative research and development.
The Chip Letter • 2055 implied HN points • 04 Jun 23
  1. Nvidia briefly joined the trillion dollar market cap club, surpassing Intel, AMD, and TSMC combined.
  2. Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, gave a commencement speech while unveiling the Grace Hopper 'superchip'.
  3. Explanation on why Rosetta 2 runs so fast on Apple Silicon Macs, highlighting the engineering tradeoffs made.
The Asianometry Newsletter • 1861 implied HN points • 05 Jul 23
  1. The semiconductor industry shifted to producing 3-D transistors like the FinFET for better control over the channels.
  2. Classical scaling involved shrinking transistor dimensions to improve performance, power, and area gains.
  3. 3-D transistor designs like FinFETs and Gate all around are pushing semiconductor technology forward, but come with added complexity and cost.
ChinaTalk • 192 implied HN points • 07 Mar 24
  1. Taiwan allows companies to choose which technologies to invest in, unlike the US and South Korea which target specific areas to strengthen the supply chain.
  2. Taiwanese lawmakers grant significant discretion to government ministries in managing subsidies, in contrast to the US and EU where subsidies are tightly regulated.
  3. Taiwan's central government manages and funds the most significant incentive programs for the semiconductor industry, a strategy that reflects a commitment to enhancing existing strengths.
More Than Moore • 186 implied HN points • 20 Feb 24
  1. Intel showcased high-speed 3nm silicon technology at ISSCC 2024, revealing their advancements in SERDES connectivity.
  2. SERDES links, like PCIe, have evolved over the years and can now achieve faster transfer rates through encoding advancements like PAM-4 and PAM-6.
  3. Presenting impressive silicon like the Bixby Creek chip demonstrates Intel's commitment to developing power-efficient high-speed connections and prepares IP blocks for customer use in new process nodes.
The Algorithmic Bridge • 201 implied HN points • 13 Feb 24
  1. Altman is seeking an unprecedented $7 trillion to invest in AI infrastructure, which includes developing GPUs, energy supply improvement, and expanding data center capacity.
  2. The $7 trillion investment is meant to propel technological advancements to a level comparable to the impact of the Industrial Revolution, focusing on long-term projects over decades rather than immediate outcomes.
  3. Despite the astronomical sum, the $7 trillion investment may not seem as excessive considering the potential growth of the global economy and the transformative nature of the projects Altman aims to support.
Irrational Analysis • 99 implied HN points • 23 Mar 24
  1. Broadcom is heavily invested in the semiconductor industry, focusing on AI infrastructure, disclosing that opinions expressed are personal, based on public info and not financial advice.
  2. The market is transitioning to Network Interface Cards (NIC) being tiny computers with CPUs, logic, and accelerators, a shift away from Broadcom's current direction.
  3. Broadcom presents debates on Ethernet vs. Infiniband, criticizes Infiniband, and shares potentially misleading information, contributing to confusion in the market.
ChinaTalk • 148 implied HN points • 27 Feb 24
  1. India excels in software and design but faces challenges in manufacturing semiconductors due to historical economic policies that hindered growth in hardware and manufacturing sectors.
  2. India's approach to semiconductor industry development differed from Taiwan and China, starting from the design end rather than electronics assembly, posing challenges due to lack of a broader electronics ecosystem and global integration.
  3. Software industry in India thrived due to less restrictive regulations compared to hardware industries like semiconductors heavily controlled under small-scale industry reservations, hindering growth in manufacturing sectors.
Irrational Analysis • 99 implied HN points • 10 Mar 24
  1. Astera Labs focuses on making "extender" chips called retimers, which enable design flexibility and cost savings by allowing the use of cheaper PCB materials.
  2. Understanding technical terms like SerDes, PCB stackup, signal integrity, loss, reflections, CTLE, DFE, jitter, adaptation, and CDR bandwidth is crucial in the semiconductor industry.
  3. Broadcom's recent product announcements have positioned them as a strong competitor to Astera Labs, showcasing superior power efficiency, compatibility, reach, and overall competitive advantages.
Vietnam Weekly • 176 implied HN points • 24 Jan 24
  1. Vietnam is focusing on semiconductors as a key industry for development.
  2. Prime Minister Chính pitched Vietnam's investment opportunities in semiconductors and AI during his recent trips.
  3. The government is supporting strategic breakthroughs in semiconductors through infrastructure development, human resource training, and institutional improvement.