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IBM has developed a microchip that’s solely 2 nanometers in measurement, the smallest that has ever existed. This may profit the expertise business.

The tiny microchip from IBM is considered a "breakthrough" in the processor industry and can, among other things, quadruple the battery life of your phone.

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7, 2021

3 min read

This article was translated using AI technologies from our Spanish edition. Errors can occur as a result of this process.

Technology company IBM announced that its research laboratory in Albany, USA, has succeeded in producing a tiny microchip measuring just 2 nanometers (nm). This represents a breakthrough in the processor industry as it is the smallest chip to date and is expected to bring broad benefits to the technology sector.

IBM claims its new microchip can improve performance by 45% over what is currently considered high-end 7 nm. In addition, it uses 75% less energy to achieve current performance, the company said in a statement on its blog.

This means, according to the company, that this technology can quadruple the battery life of cell phones and only charge them once every four days. This would also mean an increase in computing power and great benefits for data centers over the next decade.

Today, IBM introduces the world's first 2-nanometer (nm) transistor bip, the smallest yet that will enable higher performance and energy efficiency over the next ten years.

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– IBM Research (@IBMResearch) May 6, 2021

In the microchip industry, progress is measured in nanometers: the smaller the number, the lower the power consumption and the better the performance.

"This can be seen as a breakthrough," said Peter Rudden, research director at market analyst IDC. "We have seen semiconductor manufacturers go from 14nm to 10nm and 7nm, with 7nm being a real challenge for some," said the UK media BBC's expert.

According to IBM, the new processor can accommodate 50 billion transistors on a “chip the size of a fingernail”. By comparison, the 5nm chip announced in 2017 may only contain 30 billion transistors.

Rudden claims that IBM's breakthrough could be leveraged for artificial intelligence applications that today require a powerful graphics card to perform some tasks.

From a few months to the present, there has been an international shortage of microchips that has affected several industries. For example, automakers had to stop production due to a lack of processors.

Large smartphone companies have warned that this shortage would affect smartphone production. It is also difficult to find some high-end computer components such as graphics cards that have been raised in price. On Thursday, Nintendo said the low availability of chips was affecting production of its popular Nintendo Switch console.

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