Future of Hardware

ON Semiconductor / Eng chip_monk
Aug 22 55 Comments

What do you guys think the future of hardware design careers are? ie Asics, SOCs, CPU, Firmware, etc

Genuine answers only.

Please no trolling (a little is allowed lol)

Recent MS EE grad starting new role soon at

Base: 100k
sign on: 5k
Bonus: 7k/year
Relo: 12k

Location: Portland

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TOP 55 Comments
  • Microsoft Vbsm66
    The future of hardware has never been brighter. Every major datacenter company is building custom application-specific hardware for their major applications, and paying near-software wages for it. Custom ML training and inference is huge right now, and the market has not consolidated so there are tons of companies all competing for the same talent pool. There's lots of opportunity outside the traditional players (Intel, NVIDIA, etc), follow the money.

    TC: 350K at Google HW
    Aug 22 9
    • Microsoft Vbsm66
      I highly doubt they'll commoditize AI/ML chips or other forms of datacenter accelerators. Economies of scale means that it makes more sense for datacenter companies to build their own hardware optimized for their workloads vs. spend more money for commodity hardware with lower performance.
      Aug 22
    • Marvell Engeneer
      @qcnwo have you moved to software?
      Aug 22
    • Apple qcnwo
      Yes, moved to sw.
      Aug 22
    • Marvell Engeneer
      Thanks for information.. I am also in hardware.. Can you please tell me on what do you work now? How difficult it is to move to software and will there be any issues with VISA.?
      How did you move?
      Aug 22
    • Qualcomm zdlq05
      CPU and GPU architectures used to be diverse and workload optimized too. It took years of heavy R&D investment to produce flexible architectures that did most things well.

      Cloud providers have the incentive to do the R&D for ML now, but it can't stay like that much longer. If anyone has a decent idea what comes after ML, they'd be a fool to say so here.
      Aug 22
  • Intel PhucMAGA
    Don’t do ASIC’s, they are going to completely die in the next 10 years.

    SoC’s and FPGA-SoC’s are what the chip vendors are gearing up to do more long term.
    Aug 22 11
    • ON Semiconductor / Eng chip_monk
      OP
      Lol I know but 4bit adder ICs are still ASICS right??
      Aug 22
    • Google do if hjb
      FPGAs are not cost effective and generally slow
      Aug 23
    • Hitachi Vantara CojU07
      How many decades have we heard.that statement?? It all comes down to economics. If the run rate is high enough, the ASIC will always beat the cost of an FPGA. Period.
      Aug 23
    • New Custom
      Make sure that 4bit adder is in 7nm
      Aug 24
    • Amazon / Project
      dVdx68

      Amazon Project

      PRE
      Change Healthcare
      dVdx68more
      FPGAs have been the next big thing for 20 years - SoCs will keep becoming more complex as consolidation happens and more software starts getting built into hardware for speed, for power or control reasons.
      Sep 5
  • Microsoft Frogfoot
    I like Asics, they’re great running shoes
    Aug 22 2
    • Google burnItDown
      Haha we’ve both written similar answers in a window of 1m.
      Aug 22
    • Microsoft Frogfoot
      Someone had to say it!
      Aug 22
  • Google burnItDown
    I like Asics. Solid brand. I’ve been using their Gel Kayanos for 7 years and was never disappointed.
    Aug 22 1
    • Juniper Pliny Jr
      I prefer Brooks. 👍
      Aug 23
  • Intel / Eng
    hw2sw

    Intel Eng

    BIO
    DV engineer
    hw2swmore
    My 2 cents: Semiconductor industry is consolidating rapidly, there are large teams in FAANG & Microsoft working on building platform SoCs, customized ASICs/FPGA Accelerators and those are probably best to work for in terms of compensation & interesting work, but if we leave out these platform/cloud players for a moment and consider traditional semiconductor companies: Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Bcom, Qcom, etc, then it appears their products are increasingly commoditized (in terms of: hard to differentiate between features) as well as we see large number of jobs/projects transferred to Asian countries. The problem here in terms of career planning is that very few interesting teams remain to interview with which actually do interesting work which will not be commoditized or made obsolete in near future. Rest is all grunt work with no impact & nothing to write about proudly in resume. Probably I am being too pessimistic, I don't know.
    Aug 22 0
  • Qualcomm libertarin
    If you like low paying jobs 5 years from now, hardware is for you
    Aug 22 2
    • Google notez
      Qualcomm is not entire HW;) yes, your job is outsourced and commoditized...
      Aug 23
    • Qualcomm libertarin
      And yours will be the same some day soon
      Aug 23
  • Microsoft 特崀普
    I have a friend who just left Intel in Portland after 5 years of HW work. He's making the move into SW test in the Bay area. All of his HW friends at apple recently started searching for SW jobs too.
    Aug 22 1
    • Nuage Networks / Eng
      NoDrama

      Nuage Networks Eng

      PRE
      Apple
      NoDramamore
      How much does your friend make after switching to SW test?
      Aug 22
  • Apple Lovelyp
    Lol what makes you think software can’t be relocated. It is definitely starting to happen. Look at all the software jobs in India
    Aug 26 0
  • Apple arialae
    HW will be there for a long time however in future more jobs will be relocated to Asia and other countries. So the pool will be smaller and pay will be less competitive compared to SW.
    you can get an idea by comparing your salary to a new CS grad salary. Base around $150k and RSU more than $50k per year. Plus minus $20k.
    Aug 25 2
    • ON Semiconductor / Eng chip_monk
      OP
      Why can’t software be relocated. And what part of hardware job do you think will be more likely to stay in the US?
      Aug 26
    • Intel D’s🥜
      Companies have a lot more to save by sending software abroad, or even across the US. Just look at Uber relocating to Dallas.
      Aug 27
  • Intel cpio
    Heterogeneous computing, you need CPU for general purpose, OS and managing other computing devices, FPGA accelerators (video encoding, decoding, packet processing, encryption, compression), GPU for AI (training, gaming), ASIC (computer vision and specific use cases overlapping FPGA), all coexisting in the same platform.
    Aug 22 0
  • Facebook stopmiring
    Are you talking about hardware technologies, careers or what?
    Aug 22 1
    • ON Semiconductor / Eng chip_monk
      OP
      Edited
      Aug 22
  • Intel Spikiera
    Any HW that is AI/ML related
    Aug 22 0
  • Western Digital silverhawk
    Does your question include firmware too?
    Aug 22 3
    • ON Semiconductor / Eng chip_monk
      OP
      Yeah sure
      Aug 22
    • Western Digital silverhawk
      I don't know the answer, I would be interested in finding out too, could you please update your original question to add firmware scope too? Thanks
      Aug 22
    • ON Semiconductor / Eng chip_monk
      OP
      @ Western Digital... Done
      Aug 22
  • Silicon Laboratories analogIC
    RFIC design is getting brighter and brighter
    Aug 23 2
    • NVIDIA z3r0b0nu5
      this is bullshit
      Aug 24
    • Silicon Laboratories analogIC
      Stay stupid
      Aug 24
  • NVIDIA tronp
    Automotive SOCs will be evolving for a while.
    Aug 22 2
    • Western Digital CQyI28
      I would say ML / AI in general. Automotive is just one of the applications.
      Aug 22
    • NVIDIA tronp
      Not really. Safety is key.
      Aug 22
  • Xilinx / Eng ldxr1234
    FPGA’s are going to help transition from current technology that’s gpu centric to fpga centric for few years to allow flexible architectures to evolve and then ASICS will rule the world once again. That being said, staying at soc level is more beneficial in long run as you can move to any hardware company, like Intel amd nvidia as well as customer based companies like Apple Microsoft etc. as far as pay goes, sw will always be paid more than hw but if you are ambitious move up the ladder in hw world and you will be earning same amount of money as sw guys. Execution matters
    Aug 27 0
  • Microsoft alledanS
    You decide dude. Industry folks are the worst to predict
    Aug 22 0
  • Oracle nBeN41
    Bonus? 😂😂😂😂😅😅😅😅
    Aug 22 0
  • Microsoft
    micro-hard

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Microsoft
    micro-hardmore
    Thank you boss for permitting
    Aug 22 0

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