IBM unveils breakthrough 2nm chip technology

The 2nm architecture promises much longer battery life for devices as well as drastic performance boosts

IBM has revealed the design for the world’s first 2nm chip in a breakthrough the firm claims will vastly improve energy efficiency and performance of various kinds of devices.

This innovation is projected to achieve 45% higher performance or 75% lower energy use than today’s most advanced 7nm variations, IBM says. Benefits will be felt across a variety of appliances, from consumer and enterprise tech to critical infrastructure systems.

IBM claims the 2nm chips can quadruple the battery life of smartphones, slash the carbon footprints of data centres, and drastically speed up a laptop’s functions. They can also contribute to faster object detection in autonomous vehicles.

“The IBM innovation reflected in this new 2 nm chip is essential to the entire semiconductor and IT industry,” said Darío Gil, SVP and director of IBM Research.

2 nm technology as seen using transmission electron microscopy. 2 nm is smaller than the width of a single strand of human DNA. Courtesy of IBM.

IBM

“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.”

Although IBM bowed out of the semiconductor market in 2014, its research and development division has been exploring chip innovation ever since. IBM Research maintains a good track record in the space, having previously been the first to implement the 7nm and 5nm process technologies, among other computing innovations.

Related Resource

The smart buyer’s guide to flash

Find out whether flash storage is right for your business

buyer's guide to flash - whitepaper from IBMDownload now

The 2nm design demonstrates the advanced scaling of semiconductors using IBM’s nanosheet technology, the company says, which was a new type of transistor developed after its 5nm chip breakthrough in 2017.

This architecture will allow the 2nm chip to fit up to 50 billion transistors on a chip the size of a fingernail. More transistors will give designers more options to infuse core-level innovations to improve the capacity for workloads such as artificial intelligence (AI) or cloud computing.

The news is timed roughly six weeks after IBM announced a collaboration with Intel on advanced semiconductor research and development. The two tech giants will collaborate to advance next-generation logic and packaging technologies, with these efforts boosting semiconductor manufacturing.

It's unclear at this stage whether Intel's efforts fed into the development of the 2nm chip design, or whether the partnership means Intel will be among the first to reap the benefits in terms of semiconductor manufacturing.

Featured Resources

Modern governance: The how-to guide

Equipping organisations with the right tools for business resilience

Free Download

Cloud operational excellence

Everything you need to know about optimising your cloud operations

Watch now

A buyer’s guide to board management software

How the right software can improve your board’s performance

The real world business value of Oracle autonomous data warehouse

Lead with a 417% five-year ROI

Download now

Recommended

The IT Pro Podcast: Intel vs AMD
components

The IT Pro Podcast: Intel vs AMD

14 Jan 2022
Intel claims its new Core i9 CPU outperforms Apple's M1 Max
Hardware

Intel claims its new Core i9 CPU outperforms Apple's M1 Max

5 Jan 2022
Delivering on demand: Momentum builds toward flexible IT
Whitepaper

Delivering on demand: Momentum builds toward flexible IT

2 Dec 2021
Intel CPU flaw could enable hackers to attack PCs, cars, and medical devices
Hardware

Intel CPU flaw could enable hackers to attack PCs, cars, and medical devices

16 Nov 2021

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

6 Jan 2022
Sony pulls out of MWC 2022
Business operations

Sony pulls out of MWC 2022

14 Jan 2022
Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better
Laptops

Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better

14 Jan 2022