IBM is working on creating a first seven- nanometer computer chip that could hold more than 20 billion tiny switches or transistors for improved computing power. The tech giant firm has not specified when the chip will be in stores or in the market as the chip is still in development stages. The chip is said to boost computing power of everything from smartphones to spacecraft.
According to IBM, the new chip could help meet demands of future cloud computing and Big Data systems, cognitive computing, mobile products and other emerging technologies. The microchip industry has consistently created smaller and more powerful semiconductors to perform the increasingly complex task that the wired lives of consumers demand. However, the more chips shrink the greater the physical and technological hurdles become.
Most chips today in Personal Computers (PCs) and other devices use microprocessors of between 14 and 22 nanometers. The new technology this represents is at least a 50 per cent power-performance improvement. In 2014, IBM announced a KES 310billion($3 billion) investment over five years to advance chip technology to meet the growing demand that cloud computing, big data, mobile products and other new technologies are placing on semiconductors.
IBM will still have to figure out how to manufacture large numbers of the chips cheaply. At the same time the computer chips have grown more powerful, though, they have also gotten smaller, to the point that hand-sized computers exist that are many times more powerful than computers that used to fill a room.