IBM unveiled a breakthrough in semiconductor design and process with the development of the world’s first chip announced with 2 nanometers (nm) nanosheet technology. Semiconductors play critical roles in everything from computing to appliances, to communication devices, transportation systems, and critical infrastructure.

Demand for increased chip performance and energy efficiency continues to rise, especially in the era of hybrid cloud, AI, and the Internet of Things. IBM’s new 2 nm chip technology helps advance the state-of-the-art in the semiconductor industry, addressing this growing demand. It is projected to achieve 45% higher performance, or 75% lower energy use, than today’s most advanced 7 nm node chip. Darío Gil, SVP and Director of IBM Research commented:

“The IBM innovation reflected in this new 2 nm chip is essential to the entire semiconductor and IT industry. It is the product of IBM’s approach of taking on hard tech challenges and a demonstration of how breakthroughs can result from sustained investments and a collaborative R&D ecosystem approach.”

The company’s semiconductor development efforts are based at its research lab located at the Albany Nanotech Complex in Albany, NY, where IBM scientists work in close collaboration with public and private sector partners to push the boundaries of logic scaling and semiconductor capabilities. This approach to innovation makes IBM Research Albany a world-leading ecosystem for semiconductor research and creates a strong innovation pipeline, helping to address manufacturing demands and accelerate the growth of the global chip industry.

IBM Research Albany Exterior, Photo Credits: IBM

IBM’s legacy of semiconductor breakthroughs also includes the first implementation of 7 nm and 5 nm process technologies, single-cell DRAM, the Dennard Scaling Laws, chemically amplified photoresists, copper interconnect wiring, Silicon on Insulator technology, multi-core microprocessors, High-k gate dielectrics, embedded DRAM, and 3D chip stacking.

Increasing the number of transistors per chip can make them smaller, faster, more reliable, and more efficient. The 2 nm design demonstrates the advanced scaling of semiconductors using IBM’s nanosheet technology.

More transistors on a chip also mean processor designers have more options to infuse core-level innovations to improve capabilities for leading-edge workloads like AI and cloud computing, as well as new pathways for hardware-enforced security and encryption. IBM is also implementing other innovative core-level enhancements in the latest generations of IBM hardware, like IBM POWER10 and IBM z15.

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