IBM announces computer chip breakthrough, the world's first 7 nanometer semiconductor

Industrials Associated Press

IBM says it has achieved a breakthrough in making computer chips even smaller, creating a test version of the world's first semiconductor that shrinks down the circuitry by overcoming "one of the grand challenges" of the tech industry.

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The microchip industry has consistently created smaller and more powerful semiconductors. However, the more chips shrink the greater the physical and technological hurdles become.

Today's servers are powered by microprocessors that use 22 nanometer or 14 nanometer node chips.

IBM, working with a development partners at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, says it's figured out how to create 7 nanometer chips.

To get to the width of a human hair, you'd need roughly 10,000 of them. A strand of human DNA, in comparison is 2.5 nanometers.

The company last year announced a $3 billion investment over five years to advance chip technology to meet the growing demand that cloud computing, big data, mobile products and other new technologies are placing on semiconductors.

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The chip is still development and IBM did not say when it expects to put it on the market.