52 min

#4 Doug O'Laughlin (@FoolAllTheTime) - Founder of Fabricated Knowledge, A Detailed Primer on the Semiconductor Industry, What Powers AI Under the Hood, Trends in Chips for the Future Software Snack Bites

    • Entrepreneurship

Doug O’Laughlin is the Founder of Fabricated Knowledge, one of the largest technology newsletters on Substack, covering the semiconductor industry. Many may know Doug from his anonymous Twitter. He joins us today to dive deep into the semiconductor industry. Doug takes an immensely complex industry in semis and distills everything down into digestible analogies regarding semiconductor manufacturing and the actual chips themselves. Doug specifically addresses how certain semi industry areas have significant moats, how the rise of LLMs is all linked to more chips being used, what public companies are well-positioned for the future of semis. Simply put, this is the best explainer I’ve ever heard or read about the semiconductor industry to understand what’s powering all the applications and devices we use daily under the hood.
Where to Find Doug:
* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dougolaughlin/
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoolAllTheTime
* Semiconductor Blog: https://www.fabricatedknowledge.com
* Personal Blog: https://mulesmusings.substack.com
Where to Find Shomik:
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/shomikghosh21
* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shomik-ghosh-a5a71319/
* Software Snack Bites Newsletter: https://www.shomik.substack.com
* Software Snack Bites Podcast: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google.
In this episode, we cover:
(01:05) - Doug’s Background
(03:08) - How to Build Sector Expertise from Scratch
(04:37) - Why Moore’s Law is Dead and It’s Effect on the Semi Industry
(08:03) - Heterogenous Compute is the Next Paradigm Shift No One Is Talking About
(09:34) - Why Chip Specialization is Increasing
(13:12) - Understanding the Whole Semiconductor Supply Chain with a Restaurant Analogy
(20:51) - Where are Company Moats in the Semi Supply Chain
(26:54) - What are the Different Types of Chips (ASICs, CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs) and Why Do They Exist
(32:08) - The “DevOpsification” of Chips (i.e. specialized micro services)
(36:09) - LLMs (AI) and Semis Role in Powering the Tech Forward
(40:49) - Potential Reasons (Bear Case) for why Chip Usage May Slow
(43:05) - Tying Specialized Software to Chips - Nvidia’s Vertical Strategy
(47:45) - Favorite Technology/App
(49:09) - Favorite Snack
Additional Show Notes:
* Heterogenous Compute: The Paradigm Shift No One is Talking About
* Tech Monopolies Go Vertical
* The Rising Tide of Semiconductor Cost
* Semiconductor Blog: https://www.fabricatedknowledge.com
How to Subscribe:
Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google.


This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit shomik.substack.com

Doug O’Laughlin is the Founder of Fabricated Knowledge, one of the largest technology newsletters on Substack, covering the semiconductor industry. Many may know Doug from his anonymous Twitter. He joins us today to dive deep into the semiconductor industry. Doug takes an immensely complex industry in semis and distills everything down into digestible analogies regarding semiconductor manufacturing and the actual chips themselves. Doug specifically addresses how certain semi industry areas have significant moats, how the rise of LLMs is all linked to more chips being used, what public companies are well-positioned for the future of semis. Simply put, this is the best explainer I’ve ever heard or read about the semiconductor industry to understand what’s powering all the applications and devices we use daily under the hood.
Where to Find Doug:
* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dougolaughlin/
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoolAllTheTime
* Semiconductor Blog: https://www.fabricatedknowledge.com
* Personal Blog: https://mulesmusings.substack.com
Where to Find Shomik:
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/shomikghosh21
* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shomik-ghosh-a5a71319/
* Software Snack Bites Newsletter: https://www.shomik.substack.com
* Software Snack Bites Podcast: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google.
In this episode, we cover:
(01:05) - Doug’s Background
(03:08) - How to Build Sector Expertise from Scratch
(04:37) - Why Moore’s Law is Dead and It’s Effect on the Semi Industry
(08:03) - Heterogenous Compute is the Next Paradigm Shift No One Is Talking About
(09:34) - Why Chip Specialization is Increasing
(13:12) - Understanding the Whole Semiconductor Supply Chain with a Restaurant Analogy
(20:51) - Where are Company Moats in the Semi Supply Chain
(26:54) - What are the Different Types of Chips (ASICs, CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs) and Why Do They Exist
(32:08) - The “DevOpsification” of Chips (i.e. specialized micro services)
(36:09) - LLMs (AI) and Semis Role in Powering the Tech Forward
(40:49) - Potential Reasons (Bear Case) for why Chip Usage May Slow
(43:05) - Tying Specialized Software to Chips - Nvidia’s Vertical Strategy
(47:45) - Favorite Technology/App
(49:09) - Favorite Snack
Additional Show Notes:
* Heterogenous Compute: The Paradigm Shift No One is Talking About
* Tech Monopolies Go Vertical
* The Rising Tide of Semiconductor Cost
* Semiconductor Blog: https://www.fabricatedknowledge.com
How to Subscribe:
Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google.


This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit shomik.substack.com

52 min