What you need to know
- IBM states that it's created the first semiconductor with 2nm nanosheet technology.
- The company estimates that the technology will almost double the performance of 7nm processors.
- Chips made with the 2nm process will also use less power, according to IBM.
IBM has made a breakthrough in the field of computer processing. The company states that it's made the first semiconductor with 2nm nanosheet technology. Processors built with this technology should deliver almost double the performance while using less energy than the current 7nm processors, according to IBM.
IBM claims that the 2nm process will improve performance by 45% at the same power as modern 7nm processors. They should also deliver the same performance with only 75% as much energy.
Up to 50 billion transistors will be able to fit on a chip the size of a fingernail when using this process. Anantech asked IBM to clarify the size of a fingernail in this case and was told that in this context, a fingernail is 150 square millimeters. As a result, the transistors are said to be at a density of 333 million transistors per square millimeter.
As pointed out by the BBC, when IBM announced its 5nm breakthrough in 2017, the company said that it could fit up to 30 billion transistors into the same space.
While the breakthrough is notable, it will be some time before anyone can purchase chips built using this process. IBM first demonstrated the 7nm process in 2015, and AMD's Ryzen processors using the 7nm process didn't become widely available until 2019.
There isn't a timeline available for when chips built with this process will become available.
Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.
IBM isn't alone in using the nanosheet approach for 2nm. Samsung and Intel are also headed that way.
And IBM isn't making chips themselves but rather licensing the tech. So unless they get back into chipmaking it'll be somebody else using their designs. (They'd better have great security on their servers.) 😛
It might even be Intel.
Yeah I'm also wondering about the timelines for comparable fabrication designs. Was IBM late to the game for 7nm? Besides AMD, who is using IBM-designed processes, and who might in the future?
Hasn't TSMC been building Apple's chips on a 5nm process for quite some time? Demonstrating the ability and production quantity are two different things.
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