IBM Research builds the first functional 7 nm processor
IBM Research announced earlier today that it managed to build the world's first functional 7 nm node test chips. According to previous roadmaps unveiled by Intel, this technology is expected to hit the market in 2017. For now, these chips are only prototypes that IBM builds with partners GlobalFoundries, Samsung and SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
According to ZDNet, the Big Blue hopes these chips are "the beginning of smaller semiconductors that can carry on Moore's Law a bit more and ultimately power analytic workloads." Most processors on the market today use 14 nm to 22 nm technology, but 10 nm chips begin to gain market share as well.
IBM Research unveiled that the 7 nm chip has been built using Silicon Germanium (SiGe) channel transistors and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Last year, the company uncovered R&D plans that involve a $3 billion budget over a period of five years.