Huff is a low-level programming language designed for developing highly optimized smart contracts that run on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Huff does not hide the inner workings of the EVM and instead exposes its programming stack to the developer for manual manipulation.
The Aztec Protocolteam originally created Huff to write Weierstrudel , an on-chain elliptical curve arithmetic library that requires incredibly optimized code that neither Solidity nor Yul could provide.
While EVM experts can use Huff to write highly-efficient smart contracts for use in production, it can also serve as a way for beginners to learn more about the EVM.
The Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM for short, is the brains behind Ethereum. It's a computation engine, as the name suggests, similar to the virtual machines in Microsoft's.NET Framework or interpreters for other bytecode-compiled programming languages like Java. The EVM is the part of the Ethereum protocol that controls the deployment and execution of smart contracts. It can be compared to a global decentralized computer with millions of executable things (contracts), each with its own permanent data store.