IBM Reaches 7nm Milestone for Chips
IBM researchers say they are using new design methods and materials as they look to extend Moore's Law to 7nm and beyond.IBM has unveiled a 7-nanometer test chip, looking to get a jump on Intel as the processor industry looks to extend Moore's Law while continuing to shrink the processors. Big Blue introduced the 7nm test node July 9, saying it is the result of five years of development work by an alliance of IBM Research, chip foundry Globalfoundries and Samsung at SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. IBM officials said the 7nm processors will be used for the company's Power systems and mainframes to run modern workloads such as big data analytics, cloud services and mobile applications. "The implications of our achievement are huge for the computer industry," Mukesh Khare, vice president of IBM Semiconductor Technology Research, wrote in a post on the company blog. "By making the chips inside computers more powerful and more efficient, IBM and our partners will be able to produce the next generations of servers and storage systems for cloud computing, big data analytics and cognitive computing."
Moore's Law has been the key to driving up the performance and efficiency of processors while continuing to shrink them in size, enabling computers the size of smartphones to do the work that decades ago would require rooms full of massive systems. Moore's Law refers to the prediction first stated in 1965 by Intel founder Gordon Moore, who said that the number of transistors on a chip would double about every 18 months. Over the decades, it has been the driving force behind the development efforts of Intel and others.