IBM Research 2 nm WaferHardware

IBM creates first 2 nanometer chip technology

With the demand for new and faster devices constantly increasing, technology giant IBM has developed the world’s first 2 nanometer (nm) technology. This is touted as a breakthrough in the industry as it will drive more speed and efficiency than before.

“The IBM innovation reflected in this new 2 nm chip is essential to the entire semiconductor and IT (information technology) industry,” said Darío Gil, SVP and director of IBM Research. “It is the product of IBM’s approach of taking on hard tech challenges and a demonstration of how breakthroughs can result from sustained investments and a collaborative R&D ecosystem approach.”

With smartphones and smart devices expected to grow exponentially with the Internet of Things (IoT), IBM’s 2 nm promises to quadruple cellphone battery life that can last up to four days depending on the usage. IBM also hopes that organizations changing servers to 2 nm-based processors could potentially reduce the carbon footprint of data centers which account for 1% of global energy use.

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With speed and low latency a requirement for this fast-paced world, IBM’s 2 nm chip will allow faster processors across devices.

In IoT, specifically autonomous vehicles, the IBM 2 nm will be able to detect objects faster enabling it to also react quicker.

Transistors per chip

The 2 nm design demonstrates the advanced scaling of semiconductors using IBM’s nanosheet technology. Developed less than four years after IBM announced its milestone 5 nm design, this latest breakthrough will allow the 2 nm chip to fit up to 50 billion transistors on a chip the size of a fingernail.

More transistors on a chip also mean processor designers have more options to infuse core-level innovations to improve capabilities for leading-edge workloads like artificial intelligence and cloud computing, as well as new pathways for hardware-enforced security and encryption. IBM is already implementing other innovative core-level enhancements in the latest generations of IBM hardware, like IBM POWER10 and IBM z15.

IBM’s semiconductor development efforts are based at its research lab located at the Albany Nanotech Complex in Albany, New York, where IBM scientists work in close collaboration with public and private sector partners to push the boundaries of logic scaling and semiconductor capabilities.