IBM Looks To The Future With Breakthrough In Chip Technology

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IBM has announced a breakthrough in chip technology, stating it has produced the semiconductor industry’s first 7 nanometer node test chips with functioning transistors in partnership with GlobalFoundries and Samsung.The development could result in the ability to place more than 20 billion transistors on fingernail-sized chips, powering everything from smartphones to spacecraft, IBM stated, with researchers bypassing conventional semiconductor manufacturing approaches in the technology’s development.

IBM stated a number of industry-first innovations were employed, including silicon-germanium channel transistors and extreme ultraviolet lithography integration at multiple levels.

“These techniques and scaling could result in at least a 50 per cent power/performance improvement for next-generation mainframe and power systems that will power the big data, cloud and mobile era,” IBM stated.

IBM noted that microprocessors utilising 22 nm and 14 nm technology are powering today’s servers, cloud data centres and mobile devices, with 10 nm well on its way to becoming a mature technology, stating that “industry experts consider 7 nm technology crucial to meeting the anticipated demands” of future tech.

“For business and society to get the most out of tomorrow’s computers and devices, scaling to 7 nm and beyond is essential,” Arvind Krishna, IBM Research senior vice president and director, commented.

“That’s why IBM has remained committed to an aggressive basic research agenda that continually pushes the limits of semiconductor technology. Working with our partners, this milestone builds on decades of research that has set the pace for the microelectronics industry, and positions us to advance our leadership for years to come.”

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