IBM has unveiled the world’s first 2nm chip. A 2nm chip will “quadruple” smartphone battery life, requiring users to charge their phones every four days. The 2nm refers to the transistors of the processor. Companies can use 2nm Chip technology to fit more transistors in their chips and make them more efficient and powerful. And there is the crucial thing companies can make their chips smaller, which consumes low power.
The new 2nm chip, according to a response from IBM, holds 333 million transistors per square millimeter. So, a chip the size of a fingernail (150 square millimeters in this context) can hold as many as 50 billion transistors. In comparison, the 5nm chip made by Taiwan Semiconductor, which runs smartphones today, has 171 million transistors per square millimeter.
More transistors on a chip are very important because of Moore’s Law, a guiding concept in chip design that Ex-Intel chief executive officer Gordon Moore gave in 1965. According to the law of states, the number of transistors on an integrated system is doubled every two years, doubling the performance. While Moore’s Law started failing when companies reached 10nm chips, increasing the number of chip transistors remains an important aspect of chip design.
According to IBM, a 2nm chip will “quadruple” battery life on smartphones, requiring users to charge their phones every four days. They will also reduce the carbon footprint of the data center. In addition, laptops will become faster, and object detection in autonomous cars.
“More transistors on the chip help the Processor designers to increase the core-level innovations to improve the capabilities for leading-edge workloads such as AI and cloud computing, as well as new pathways for hardware-enforces security.” the company said in the blog post.
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That said, IBM’s new design is merely a proof of concept, meaning you shouldn’t expect a true 2nm chip on smartphones or other devices for at least a couple of years. At the moment, leading chip developers such as Samsung and TSMC are producing 5nm chips in their foundries, while PC chip giant Intel is simply scratching the 7nm mark. TSMC had said earlier that it plans to start production of 4nm chips by the top of 2021, and 3nm chips are expected within the last half of next year.