IBM announces computer chip breakthrough in creating world's first 7 nanometer test chip

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

The microchip industry has long been able to consistently create smaller and more powerful chips, but this has grown increasingly difficult because of physical and technological limits.

IBM's new chip is the first with transistors that are 7 nanometers. To get to the width of a human hair, you'd need roughly 10,000 of them. Today's servers are powered by microprocessors that use 22 nanometer or 14 nanometer node chips.

IBM Corp. is working with a development partners at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

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.