IBM's New Chip Tech Promises Faster Computing and Better Battery Life

The 2 Nanometer chip is still years away, though

IBM has unveiled the world’s first 2 nanometer (nm) semiconductor technology. The company calls it a breakthrough in semiconductor design, citing more efficient power usage and increased performance as two key benefits.

IBM announced its newest semiconductor technology in a press release, citing benefits in computing speed and potential battery life savings. As noted by PCMag, these chips are still a few years away, but IBM has managed to successfully create a prototype at its lab in Albany, New York.

A close up of IBM's new 2 nm semiconductor design


IBM projects a performance increase of 45% and a 75% cut to energy usage, making these chips more efficient than the most advanced 7nm microprocessors available today. Other potential benefits that come with the new 2nm chips include increased battery life in cellphones, increased processing speed, and a cut to the carbon footprint created by large data centers.

With these new semiconductors, IBM says we might one day see cell phones offering four days of battery life per charge, a massive step forward over the one-day charges we have now. IBM says the technology also could help lead to faster object detection, which could speed up reaction time in autonomous vehicles.

IBM says the 2nm chip can fit up to 50 billion transistors on a chip the size of a fingernail, thanks to nanosheet technologies. The company’s previous 5nm chips can currently fit 30 billion transistors on a node. By adding more transistors to a single chip, IBM will give processor designers a way to innovate and improve on the capabilities of future chipsets that utilize the smaller sizes.

Currently, PCMag estimates that we will not see 2nm chip technology appearing in devices until at least 2024. IBM also has no plans to manufacture the chips, itself. Instead, the company will partner with companies like Samsung to build the processors. Intel recently partnered with IBM on the research and development of advanced semiconductors, but it is unclear if the two companies will work together on 2nm chips.

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