Ah, the arms race in the world of semiconductors do seem to involve faster speeds and smaller sizes, but it looked as though that we are approaching a point of diminishing returns in terms of performance as opposed to its size. Perhaps there is a new lease of life yet in the quantum leap of improvement, as IBM has laid claim to a breakthrough where manufacturing computer chips are concerned, resulting in a smaller test version that will shrink the circuitry down even further after overcoming “one of the grand challenges” of the microchip industry.
IBM, having worked alongside development partners at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, claims that it has successfully figured out a way to churn out chips using the 7 nanometer process. Now that is crazy small – and to put things into perspective, you would require approximately 10,000 of these chips in order to get the same width as that of a human hair, now how fine is that? 7 nanometer is also slightly less than 3 times the width of a strand of human DNA.
It looks like the $3 billion investment that IBM has committed themselves to over the course of half a decade to gain an advance in chip technology has started to pay off. IBM remained mum as to when this particular new chip will hit the market, since they have one more hurdle to overcome – to mass produce these chips so that they are affordable enough for the end user.