IBM and Samsung Aim to Boost Chip Performance Through Nanosheets

Over the past few years, we have seen tremendous advances in smartphones and other “smart” technologies. However, for some people, these devices are still now powerful enough. IBM and Samsung claim they have come up with a solution that should work for everyone. Nanosheets will help shrink the chips found in those devices as a way to increase computing power. An intriguing concept that warrants a closer look.

Nanosheets Pave The Way For More Powerful Electronics

Some people may argue our smartphones and other electronics are more than powerful enough already. For a lot of people, their smartphone has replaced the desktop computer already. IBM and Samsung are convinced there is still a lot of progress to be made, though. Their new concept, called nanosheets, aims to shrink computer chips in size to improve their processing power. The goal is to improve performance by 40% without affecting the chip’s power consumption.

This is quite an intriguing development, although one that was somewhat to be expected. In the world of computers, chips are also becoming much smaller while packing the same or more performance. It is only normal to see a similar development where smartphones are concerned. However, nanosheets are quite interesting, as it allows all chipmakers to benefit from this technology moving forward. Ultimately, this will lead to a much more competitive chip market.

Moreover, maintaining the rate of progress related to improving mobile chip performance has become increasingly difficult. There are only so many transistors to fit on a chip. Current generations of transistors are 10 nanometers in size, and that surface will be reduced to 7 nanometers in the future. With the nanosheets developed by Samsung and IBM, that size can be shrunk further to 5nm. Packing transistors more densely on a chip will result in a massive performance gain, which does not necessarily affect the power consumption whatsoever.

Considering how most phones and computers use billions of transistors, these days manufacturers will have a few things they need to figure out. There is a lot more to creating more powerful electronics than just adding more transistors to an existing chip. One important aspect of transistor design is how they cut off the current or let it flow. With more transistors packed densely onto a chip, this process will need some careful planning.

While the nanosheets concept sounds incredibly intriguing, it will not come to market anytime soon. The research into this matter has only been just announced, and it may take around a decade until we will see commercial manufacturing. After all, chipmakers will have to cough up a lot of money to start using extreme UV light to etch chip features onto their silicon wafers. A lot of companies will put off these expenses as long as they can, that much is a foregone conclusion.

Until mass production of these nanosheets effectively happens, we will still see other improvements being made to electronics in general. They will not necessarily as spectacular as this one, but there are still a lot of other ways to improve the processing power of chips in general. It will be interesting to see what manufacturers will come up with over the next few years, to say the least. The concept of nanosheets sparks the imagination unlike any other innovation, though.

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