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IBM says it has created the world's smallest and most powerful microchip

May 6, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 50.8%. 1 min read.

The semiconductor industry's constant challenge is to make microchips that are smaller, faster, more powerful and more energy efficient — simultaneously.

On Thursday, IBM (IBM) announced it has created a 2-nanometer chip, the smallest, most powerful microchip yet developed.

Most computer chips powering devices today use 10-nanometer or 7-nanometer process technology, with some manufacturers producing 5-nanometer chips.

IBM's new chip uses 2-nanometer process technology, a huge leap forward for the components used to power everything from consumers' smart phones and appliances to supercomputers and transportation equipment.

The new 2-nanometer chips are roughly the size of a fingernail, and contain 50 billion transistors, each about the size of two DNA strands, according to IBM vice president of hybrid cloud research Mukesh Khare.

The new chip is expected to achieve 45% higher performance — and about 75% lower energy usage — than today's most advanced 7-nanometer chips.

With 2-nanometer chips, cell phone batteries could last four times longer, laptops could get markedly faster and the carbon footprints of data centers could be slashed as they rely on more energy efficient chips.

The 2-nanometer chips are expected to go into production starting in late 2024 or 2025, which won't be soon enough to make a dent in the current global chip shortage.

IBM's research on the new chip will also help it develop its own future tech products that will utilize the 2-nanometer chips.

The announcement comes as the Biden administration is considering investing $50 billion to grow domestic chip research, development and manufacturing, after years of decline in the United States' role in the global semiconductor industry.

by summa-bot

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