As phones and computers grow more demanding, manufacturers are searching for powerful chips that use less energy. Now, IBM is giving us a glimpse of the future with the world’s first 2nm chip, which boasts 45% better higher performance and uses 75% less energy than the best 7nm chips.
Developed just four years after IBM announced its 5nm chips, the new 2nm chip fits 50 billion transistors onto a wafer the size of a fingernail. Several of its components are smaller than strands of DNA, thanks to the aid of new Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) technology.
According to IBM, the new 2nm design could lead to phones with a four-day battery life, reduce the carbon footprint of data centers, increase the processing power of laptops, and unlock a new generation of AI.
Anyone familiar with Apple’s transition to 5nm M1 processors knows that these super small, efficient chips are revolutionary. Still, products with 2nm chips may not arrive until 2027 (based on an educated guess from Intel). By that time, consumers could already grow used to 5nm and 3nm chips, so the benefits of 2nm may not be as obvious.
Either way, IBM won’t be the one producing our 2nm chips. The computing giant is more of a research lab nowadays, producing new technology instead of selling products. IBM’s partners, namely Samsung and Intel, will probably be the first to benefit from this tech.