IBM developed the world’s first 2-nanometer processor chips.

IBM has unveiled the world’s first 2nm process chip, demonstrating what chips for smartphones, autonomous vehicles, and other applications will look like in the future. At 2 nanometers, these devices consist of two transistors. Companies can pack more transistors onto a chip, increasing its strength and performance. Companies may make smaller chips that use less power for the same level of efficiency, or vice versa.

According to a company response to AnandTech, the latest 2nm chip has 333 million transistors per square millimetre. In this case, a chip the size of a fingernail (150 square millimetres) will accommodate up to 50 billion transistors. In contrast, most smartphones today use 5nm chips from Taiwan Semiconductor Company (TSMC), which have about 171 million transistors per square millimetre.

Moore’s law is a guiding principle in semiconductor design which states that the number of transistors on a chip should double every two years, in order to maintain a roughly constant price. The law states that every two years, the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles, doubling the output. 

In a blog post, IBM said, “More transistors on a chip also means processor designers have more options to infuse core-level innovations to improve capabilities for leading edge workloads such as AI and cloud computing, as well as new pathways for hardware-enforced security and encryption.”

However, IBM’s latest design is only a proof of concept, so don’t expect to see a real 2nm chip in smartphones or other devices for at least a few years.

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