A new breakthrough in semiconductor design jointly developed by global tech giants IBM and Samsung Electronics could allow phone batteries to hold a charge for a week, according to the companies on Wednesday.
This architecture — which, in essence, is to align transistors vertically on a semiconductor chip — has the potential to reduce energy usage by 85 percent compared to a conventional scaled fin field-effect transistor by allowing greater current flow with less wasted energy, IBM said.
In addition to mobile phones, energy intensive processes such as cryptomining and data encryption could require less energy and lead to a smaller carbon footprint. Internet-of-things communication devices could operate in a more diverse environment, such as ocean buoys, autonomous vehicles and spacecraft.
Under what is dubbed theVertical Transport Field Effect Transistors process, transistors are stacked perpendicular to the surface of the chip with a vertical current flow. Conventionally, transistors lay flat to be placed in a side-to-side horizontal layout on the surface of a semiconductor.
The advancement to show a path to scaling beyond nanosheet, companies say, defies the principle that transistors in a densely populated integrated circuit chip will be increasingly crammed into a finite space, and engineers have found the space running out as they sought to make the chips faster and more efficient.
“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,’” Mukesh Khare, the vice president in charge of hybrid cloud and systems at IBM Research, said in a statement.
This is the latest commercialization project held jointly by IBM and Samsung at Albany Nanotech Complex, IBM’s semiconductor research and development hub, in New York.
IBM has long been a strategic partner of Samsung. Most recently, Samsung was announced to start manufacturing IBM’s chips at the 5-nanometer node for IBM’s own server platforms.
Beginning in 2018, Samsung has supplied 7-nanometer chips for IBM, which became available in IBM’s Power10 family of servers starting earlier this year. The IBM Telum processor, also revealed in 2021, is also manufactured by Samsung.
By Son Ji-hyoung ([email protected])