The International Business Machines Corporation, or more widely known as IBM, recently announced that it has created the world’s first two-nanometre chip.

The company revealed on 6 May 2021 that its new chip technology is the answer to the growing demand for increased performance and energy efficiency in semiconductors. The chip is the product of IBM’s collaboration with numerous companies from the private and public sector. Due to this, it is also expected to help address manufacturing demands and accelerate the global chip industry’s growth.

The 2nm chip can fit up to 50 billion transistors – 20 billion more than IBM’s 5nm chip. The increased transistor capacity provides a faster, more reliable and more efficient performance than its predecessor. It also gives processor designers more options to “infuse core-level innovations” to improve AI and cloud computing capabilities.

Security won’t be left behind as the chip will allow for new hardware-enforced security and encryption pathways.

A 2nm wafer fabricated at IBM Research’s Albany facility. The wafer contains hundreds of individual chips.
Credit: IBM

The IBM stated that the chip is projected to achieve 45 per cent higher performance and 75 per cent lower energy use than the world’s most advanced 7nm node chips. A cell phone that has a 2nm chip installed might only require charging once every four days. A laptop, meanwhile, will see a considerable increase in performance. This increase in performance ranges from quicker processing in applications to faster internet access. Self-driving cars will have a quicker reaction time due to the chip contributing to faster object detection.

The 2nm chip technology is also environment friendly. Data centres with servers utilising 2nm-based processors could see their carbon footprint reduced significantly.

According to CNN Business writer, Claire Duffy, IBM will license its 2nm chip technology to chipmakers, but it is not expected to go into production until late 2024 or 2025.


Written by John Paul Joaquin