International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has set out $3 billion for two broad research and early stage development programs to enhance the chip technology to suffice the evolving demands of cloud computing and Big data system. The investment would help the tech company to leap forward, becoming a technology leader.
IBM eyes top spot
The first-research program named “7 nanometer and beyond” will be initiated to resolve the grave physical challenges that are constraining the current semiconductor scaling technique and slowing the ability to manufacture such chips. Another research is dedicated towards developing alternative technologies for post silicon era-chips employing novice approaches, which is vital according to IBM think-tanks in the wake of limited silicon-based semiconductors
The Big Blue will make teams of IBM research scientists and engineers from Albany and Yorktown, New York; Almaden, California; and Europe. To be precise, the company is keen to invest in new horizons of research that are going on at IBM such as carbon nano-electronics, silicon photonics, new memory technologies and architectures that support quantum and cognitive computing.
The core area of these teams will be to make a significant upgrade in the system-level performance and energy efficient computing. Also, the company will keep on funding nano-sciences and quantum computing.
Energy efficient alternatives
IBM Researchers and other semiconductor experts believe that despite the challenges, semiconductors have the potential to improve to 14 and then 10 nanometers than the 22 nanometers, presently.
However, reducing to 7 nanometer and even lower by the end of the decade would need substantial amount of investment and innovation in semiconductor architectures as well as invention of new tools and techniques for manufacturing.
“It’s a five or 10-year plan, no one has laid out an investment like this in years,” said Richard Doherty, an analyst at Envisioneering. Doherty added that IBM will not lock out silicon completely; instead the company will experiment with the new materials for future. At present, half the power consumed by chip is wasted in the form of heat instead of being used to perform calculations, which is a severe drawback of the current technology.
IBM is confident that advanced chips, envisioned by the company will do away with the challenges while processing large volume data.