IBM says that silicon has at least one more generational advance in store. The company introduced what it says is the world’s first 2-nanometer chipmaking technology.
The technology could be as much as 45% faster than the mainstream 7-nanometer chips in many of today’s laptops and phones and up to 75% more power efficient, the company said.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s A14 Bionic, found in iPhone 12 family, and M1 in new Macs and iPad Pro models are 5-nanometer systems on a chip (SoC).
The technology likely will take several years to come to market. Once a major manufacturer of chips, IBM now outsources its high-volume chip production to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd but maintains a chip manufacturing research center in Albany, New York that produces test runs of chips and has joint technology development deals with Samsung and Intel Corp to use IBM’s chipmaking technology.
The technology IBM showed Thursday is the most basic building block of a chip: a transistor, which acts like an electrical on-off switch to form the 1s and 0s of binary digits at that foundation of all modern computing.
Making the switches very tiny makes them faster and more power efficient, but it also creates problems with electrons leaking when the switches are supposed to be off. Darío Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM Research, told Reuters in an interview that scientists were able to drape sheets of insulating material just a few nanometers thick to stop leaks.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s Power Mac G5, launched in June 2003, featured a PowerPC G5 (970) processor that was manufactured on a 130-nanometer process.