Computer hardware developer IBM has created the first ever semiconductor built using a two nanometer process.
According to IBM, the new 2nm nanosheet will allow processors to nearly double their performance numbers while also lowering power draw as compared to the current generation 7nm chip process.
The 7nm form factor is most famously used in AMD’s current Ryzen series of chips, but is also used in things like the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy lineup.
Chips with the 2nm process will be able to fit up to 50 billion transistors into the area the size of a fingernail, at a density of 333 million transistors per square millimeter.
Dario Gil, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research, said that the new 2nm design “is the product of IBM’s approach of taking on hard tech challenges and a a demonstration of how breakthroughs can result from sustained investments and a collaborative R&D ecosystem approach.”
The news of a new chip process comes during a worldwide semiconductor shortage that has seen the prices of computer hardware skyrocket as production is still trying to recover. IBM is hopeful that the new design can help to mitigate this shortage.
Given its reduced power draw, the 2nm process is especially appealing for companies looking to lower their carbon footprint. Data centers and cryptocurrency mines have been the subject of much scrutiny for their sizeable power draw and use of carbon-based energy sources.
There is also speculation that the improved performance of the 2nm process could help self-driving vehicles, potentially reducing reaction time for autonomous systems.
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