I would argue that this website covers both hardware/software in the natural proportion of hardware:software developers. If I had to guess then that would be 1:30.
Why is it 1:30? Because hardware developers have way more at stake than their software counterparts. One injection mold costs $8000, one PCB assembly run costs $12000, one PCB costs $900 and one week, one wafer costs $400,000 and six months. So there are just a lot less hardware developers than there are firmware/software ones.
Look at the distribution of posts on the HN two front pages
9 Software optimization (compilers, language features)
9 Business/ IP
5 Cutting Edge software like AI
4 Information Security /Privacy
4 Show HN or similar (a product or dev tool)
4 Historical Computers
3 Non-Technology news
2 Other Technology news
1 Ask HN
Only 17/50 of those are actually pure software posts. (Software optimization, Cutting Edge software like AI
Design) The rest would likely be on a hardware website too.
Software changes much faster than hardware. Software can be acted on by individuals and posted on HN by individuals, not just companies/universities with $1m research labs. But when new hardware comes out that is intellectually interesting, like IBMs quantum computer, or an ESP8266, or Google's Tensor Computer Units, you'll bet you can find it on HN.
Reminds me of a comment I saw on reddit:
"Verilog/SystemVerilog are not languages many people write about online. Reading Synopsis documentation and occasional seminars are the best of what you can get."
As someone trying to learn Verilog better, it's frustrating.
EDIT: But still ... the tooling is pretty stable. I don't know that I would turn to an HN-like community to help me put a (frankly, pretty vanilla) module on a CPU bus from the Broadcom family. I know how to do that. You can go down the stack (at which point everything is proprietary) or you can go up the stack (at which everything is software). No?
From that link:
DeepChip.com is a 20 year old clearinghouse where semiconductor chip designers contribute data-intensive papers and articles of first-hand evaluations and production benchmarks of commercial EDA tools.
John Cooley at or (508) 429-4357 edits the content of both ESNUG and DeepChip.
Knowing that warms my heart. Thank you.
> hardware developers have way more at stake than their software counterparts
This is related, but software is fungible so more of the customization happens there. How many iPhone designs are there vs apps in the app store?
I'm a software engineer with interest in hardware, but I'm interested in something more than news about interesting new hardware tech. HN has more for software engineers. As someone not in the field, where do I find discussion about best practices in the industry for testing and verifying digital hardware designs? I have some project ideas about using an FPGA as a PCIe device. That seems daunting. There are a few examples out there, but they hardly teach understanding. Suitable hardware can be hand for a few thousand, well in the range of a hobbyist. Where can I go find people doing this kind of work?
Articles include the problems of being obsolete at age 30, and a comment that Huawei is "cleaning up" the staff over 34. There's an online course on how to become an embedded systems developer by writing your own RTOS, and what questions Huawei asks in interviews. Somebody wants help with their square wave generator, which is producing a poor waveform. Somebody else wants to know how to drive a 12V brushless DC motor 300mA 2000 RPM. Nobody posted a useful answer, which is disappointing.
All in Mandarin, of course, but that's what Google Translate is for.
To start you off, I subscribe to the following:
Note that there subreddits related to a specific product where discussion focuses on that specific hardware. They tend to by hobbyist, but that's as close as you can get.
That said, I've seen (and participated in) some great discussions in the comments from time to time, especially the ham radio related ones.
https://hackaday.com/ is good for hardware hacking, though it leans heavily towards Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms. Most articles that aren't about one of those platforms tend to be about retro-computing, 3D printing, repurposing hardware, and similar topics.
https://phoronix.com is great for Linux-specific hardware reviews, and is worth a subscription; Michael Larabel is one of the hardest working people on the Linux news scene.
Because all the clueless people have dropped Usenet, it's mostly people who know what they're doing. comp.lang.* groups remain useful.
r/electronics is rather lame. Current top articles:
* Join fellow redditors in delivering happiness to one another around the globe! (AD)
* Interesting7805 at the heart of a Super Famicom (SNES).
* Organization Tip: Old Cassette Cases w/ Labels to Keep Parts Sorted!
* Modded Gopro clone sees through Blu-Ray player
* NJ based Components Distributor with NO minimum order quantity (AD)
Not too helpful.
Electronics people usually get Electronic Design magazine. Mechanical engineering people get Machine Design. (Those are free. New Equipment Digest arrives whether you asked for it or not.)
A strange difference is that for me, software news is much more actionable than hardware. Somebody has to turn a new hardware development into something like a breakout board, often with support software such as drivers, before I can really do anything with it. The stuff that I can support myself, such as peripheral IC's and analog components, doesn't evolve as quickly.
I suppose one could say that software also requires support software (such as Python wrappers) before I can use it, but that seems to happen more quickly.
vTools Events is really great but it is obviously intended for organizing face-to-face meetings, workshops, etc.
I do agree that IEEE should just host a phpBB forum (or similar) on their site. Perhaps have a subforum for each Society and Affinity Group and also subfora for various Regions/Sections.
I think if we could get a couple engineers from each HW manufacturer from different departments to help put together articles, then I think one as entertaining as HN could be built. People just don't hash out HW specs like they used to - and we need a resurgence via an injection of top-skilled onslaught articles written by the actual innovations of today. I'm happy to help coerce them to participate in such an adventure - if some of you will help me :)
EDIT: On further inspection I think that sub is about the truck 'RAM' and other things.
So, it's a nice, high-signal, tech-focused site that a subset of HN readers will enjoy. It's not the site to get hardware advise or HDL from.