IBM has unveiled the worlds first ever 2-nanometer (nm) chip technology, a significant breakthrough in computer processors. IBM says, the 2nm chip is 45 per cent faster than the mainstream 7- nanometer chips available in the market and is also more energy-efficient for up to 75 per cent less energy to match current performance.
The 2-nanometer chips will be smaller and faster than today’s leading-edge 5-nanometer chips, which are just now showing up in premium smartphones like Apple Inc’s iPhone 12 models, and the 3-nanometer chips expected to come after 5-nanometer. IBM says the 2nm technology might quadruple mobile phone battery life to have phones charge every four days.
Additionally, IBM says the 2nm process can cram 50 billion transistors into a chip the size of a fingernail up from 30 billion when it announced its 5nm breakthrough in 2017.
This technology, however, is still in the most basic stage of building blocks of a chip, a transistor, which acts as an electrical on-off switch to form the 1s and 0s of binary digits at that foundation of all modern computing. Making the switches very tiny makes them faster and more power-efficient, but it also creates problems with electrons leaking when the switches are supposed to be off.
Darío Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM Research, to Reuters in an interview that scientists were able to drape sheets of insulating material just a few nanometers thick to stop leaks.
“In the end, there are transistors, and everything else (in computing) relies on whether that transistor gets better or not. And it’s not a guarantee that there will be a transistor advance generation to generation anymore. So it’s a big deal every time we get a chance to say there will be another,” Gil said.
Nonetheless, the technology likely will take several years to come to market.The earliest production is set for 2023 later Once a major manufacturer of chips, IBM now outsources its high-volume chip production to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd but maintains a chip manufacturing research centre in Albany, New York that produces test runs of chips and has joint technology development deals with Samsung and Intel Corp to use IBM’s chipmaking technology.