Micro Arch Club
The art, science, and history of processor design.


0: Hello World

2024-02-12 00:03:34

In this introductory episode, I detail my mission and goals for the podcast. Subscribe for new episodes every other Wednesday!

1: Philip Freidin

2024-02-14 02:32:39

Philip Freidin joins to talk about developing a passion for electronics and computer architecture while growing up in Australia, getting started on the PDP-8, his grand plan to work on AMD bit-slice processors, and plenty more.

10: Thomas Sohmers

2024-02-28 01:22:31

Thomas Sohmers joins to discuss dropping out of high school at age 17 to start a chip company, lessons from the successes and failures of past processor architectures, the history of VLIW, and the new AI hardware appliances he and his team are building at Positron AI.

11: Robert Garner

2024-03-13 01:51:28

Robert Garner joins for a fascinating tour of the last 50 years of computing, told through his experiences working alongside pioneers of the industry on projects like the optical mouse, the Xerox STAR workstation, Sun Microsystems' SPARC instruction set architecture, and many more. We also discuss Robert's work preserving and restoring systems at the Computer History Museum, and his upcoming book on the technical history of Ethernet.

100: Nathanael Huffman

2024-03-27 01:47:46

Nathanael Huffman joins to talk about the magic of FPGAs, the role they play in domains ranging from medical imaging to data centers, and how software development principles can be applied to logic design. We also discuss how Nathanael and the team at Oxide Computer Company built a new rack-scale computer while working remotely, and what exactly happens when it powers on and boots up.

101: Matt Godbolt

2024-04-10 02:29:23

Matt Godbolt joins to talk about early microprocessors, working in the games industry, performance optimization on modern x86 CPUs, and the compute infrastructure that powers the financial trading industry. We also discuss Matt's work on bringing YouTube to early mobile phones, and the origin story of Compiler Explorer, Matt's well-known open source project and website.

110: Rick Altherr

2024-04-24 02:16:38

Rick Altherr joins to talk about working on hardware performance analysis tools at Apple during the PowerPC to x86 transition, building flight control software for internet satellites at Google, discovering vulnerabilites in baseboard management controllers, and much more. We also spend an extended portion of the conversation on Rick's current work in quantum computing, including comparing and contrasting with classical computing, and examining some of the challenges of interfacing with these machines today.

111: Kay Li

2024-05-08 01:18:12

Kay Li joins to talk about custom hardware used in high-frequency trading, development workflows for FPGA and ASIC design, and why verification has become a bottleneck in the design process. We also discuss SiLogy, the startup Kay founded with Paul Kim to improve the design workflow, including their experience applying to and going through YCombinator, their initial target market, and how the platform could evolve over time.

1000: Ben Titzer

2024-05-22 01:47:14

Ben Titzer joins to talk about the history and future of WebAssembly, the design and implementation of V8's TurboFan optimizing compiler, and the Virgil programming language. We also discuss bringing high-level language features to constrained hardware, the V8 team's response to the Spectre and Meltdown side-channel attacks, and how to design high performance virtual machines.