With the significance of nanotechnology on a rise, focused research for the same comes as no surprise. Specifically, the IBM Research team is known for its expertise and dedication in this field of science. Two years back, we had heard about the team’s successful creation of a 7-nanometer test chip. But the team wasn’t content with this achievement. It strived to work harder in a direction wherein it could come up with a technological breakthrough. Rigorous hard work and probing into nanotechnology resulted in the production of the 5-nanometer semiconductor chip. This creation is considered to be a detailed transistor design in such a breakthrough. Even the previous chip created by the team was the first of its kind in the entire world. Now IBM Research is working on updating that technology and producing these 5-nanometer chips.
The creation of this 5-nanometer semiconductor chip is a result of IBM’s research alliance with Samsung and GlobalFoundries. Samsung has expertise in hardware production as it’s a tech giant whereas GlobalFoundries is a semiconductor specialist. This project focuses on building silicon nanosheet transistors that will hold 5-nanometer chips. The research institute announced that this project’s explanation in detail will take place soon. This will take place at the 2017 Symposia, a part of the VLSI Technology and Circuits Conference held in Kyoto, Japan. This remarkable technological achievement will take a while before it becomes commercial.
What scope does this 5-nanometer semiconductor chip offer?
This 5-nanometer semiconductor chip is equivalent to the size of a fingernail. This comparison gives us an idea about the minute size of the new chip. Judging by its size, a layman would think that it would function like an ordinary chip. But that’s the whole novelty about this technological breakthrough. This 5-nanometer piece of technology will hold 30 billion switches. This is a great advancement in comparison to the 7-nanometer chip which had 20 billion transistors. Science principles say that if a chip has more densely populated transistors, then it will transfer the signals even faster. Therefore IBM’s latest transistor follows this principle and has stacked silicon nanosheets for the same.
Such an increased transistor density gives the 5-nanometer semiconductor chip a 40 percent performance boost. It also enables 75 percent power efficiency even at the very same performance level. This is way ahead in comparison to the 10-nanometer chips that are currently out in the market. Various researchers believe that this project will prove to be a major breakthrough in the $330 billion chip industry. The IBM Research team believes that this advancement will enhance the Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive computing, and other such data-intensive applications present in the cloud.