IBM Develops 7- Nanometer Chip; Spends $3 Billion on Research

IBM has announced that it has designed a new kind of ultra-dense chip, which squeezes in four times as much computing power as the best silicon currently available. It is the 7-nanometer node test chip with functional transistors.

$3 billion has been spent on this research. It is a collaborative effort put in by Global Foundries, Samsung and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany, New York.

This invention by IBM’s  makes the company take a big leap ahead of today’s 22-nanometer chips, allowing for the potential production of more advance chips in the future, impacting everything from mobile devices to cloud computing, reports Mashable.

At the 7-nanometer range (comparatively, a strand of human DNA measures just 2.5 nanometers in diameter), the traditional physics around silicon transistors must be approached differently.

The company claims that this has been made possible by using Silicon-germanium(SiGe) and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography integration in the manufacturing process rather than pure silicon. The new material choice allows transistors to deliver 50% better performance.