If you're like us, you've been wondering what the hell IBM has been doing for the last few years. Today, it looks like we may have part of an answer.
Big Blue revealed this morning in a press release that it had been working jointly with Samsung and had achieved a "breakthrough" in semiconductor design that could reduce energy usage by 85%.
The two companies announced jointly a "breakthrough in semiconductor design utilizing a new vertical transistor architecture that demonstrates a path to scaling beyond nanosheet, and has the potential to reduce energy usage by 85 percent compared to a scaled fin field-effect transistor".
The announcement comes in the midst of a global semiconductor shortage which many believe may not end fully until 2023.
"The two companies' semiconductor innovation was produced at the Albany Nanotech Complex in Albany, NY, where research scientists work in close collaboration with public and private sector partners to push the boundaries of logic scaling and semiconductor capabilities," the press release said.
The release listed some potential benefits for the breakthrough, including:
- Potential device architecture that enables semiconductor device scaling to continue beyond nanosheet.
- Cell phone batteries that could go over a week without being charged, instead of days.
- Energy intensive processes, such as cryptomining operations and data encryption, could require significantly less energy and have a smaller carbon footprint.
- Continued expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) and edge devices with lower energy needs, allowing them to operate in more diverse environments like ocean buoys, autonomous vehicles, and spacecraft.
Dr. Mukesh Khare, Vice President, Hybrid Cloud and Systems, IBM Research, commented: "Today's technology announcement is about challenging convention and rethinking how we continue to advance society and deliver new innovations that improve life, business and reduce our environmental impact."
He continued: "Given the constraints the industry is currently facing along multiple fronts, IBM and Samsung are demonstrating our commitment to joint innovation in semiconductor design and a shared pursuit of what we call 'hard tech.'"
You can read the full release here.