IBM introduced the world’s first 2-nanometer chip manufacturing technology. The technology can be up to 45 percent faster than mainstream 7nm chips in many of today’s laptops and phones, and up to 75 percent faster power savings, the company said.
It will probably take several years for the technology to enter the market. Formerly a major chip manufacturer IBM now outsources the production of large volume chips Samsung Electronics but it has a chip manufacturing research center in Albany, New York, which produces chip test runs and has joint technology development with Samsung and Intel Corp. for the use of IBM chip technology.
2nm chips are smaller and faster than today’s 5nm chips, which are now showing up on premium smartphones like Apple iPhone 12 models and 3nm chips are expected to come after 5nm.
The technology IBM demonstrated on Thursday is a basic element of the chip: a transistor that acts like an electrical power switch, forming the 1- and 0 values of binary numbers at the heart of all modern computing.
Making the switches very small makes them faster and more energy efficient, but it also causes problems with electron leakage when the switches are assumed to be off. Darío Gil, director of IBM Research, told Reuters in an interview that the researchers were able to cover only a few nanometers thick insulation materials to prevent leaks.
“After all, there are transistors, and everything else (in the calculation) depends on whether the transistors improve or not. And that’s not a guarantee that the transistors will come from generation to generation. So it’s a big deal every time you get a chance to say that there will be another, “Gil said.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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