IBM 2nm chip breakthrough claims more power with less energy

IBM 2nm chip breakthrough claims more power with less energy
Silicon wafers like these are made in a process measured in nanometres - and IBM says it has cracked the smallest one yet. Source: GETTY IMAGES
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Daily US Times: Tech giant IBM says it has made a significant breakthrough in computer processors by creating a 2 nanometres (nm) chip in its test lab.

The process used to make computer chips is measured in nanometres (nm)- one billionth of a metre – with a lower number usually signifying a leap forward.

The company said its test chip can improve performance by 45 percent over current 7nm commercially available products.

The chip is also more energy efficient – using 75% less energy to match current performance, according to IBM.

It claims the innovation could “quadruple” the battery life of mobile phone, and phones might only need to be charged every four days.

The computer chip industry used to use nanometres, to measure the physical size of transistors. Today, a lower “nm” number is widely seen as a marketing term to describe new generations of the technology, leading to lower power and better performance.

IBM says its 2nm process can cram 50 billion transistors into “a chip the size of a fingernail” – up from 30 billion when the company announced its 5nm breakthrough in 2017.

The end result should be another performance bump for computers around the world in the coming years.

Current high-end desktop chips based on the 7nm process, such as AMD’s Ryzen processors, didn’t become widely available until 2019 – four years after the tech giant IBM announced it had cracked the 7nm process.

Peter Rudden, research director at market intelligence firm IDC., said: “This can be considered as a breakthrough.”

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