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We weren't too kind to IBM recently. They featured at the end of this 👇
IBM is now 110 years old. It was once the worlds most valuable business (1967) and effectively kick-started the company that now holds that title: Microsoft
The share price of IBM has declined over the last five years and in fact the over the last decade, a timeframe in which it’s lost -38.27%...
However, we DID highlight that IBM is really getting into the next generation of computing, and expects a major breakthrough on their Eagle quantum computing chips:
"We believe that we will be able to reach a demonstration of quantum advantage - something that can have practical value - within the next couple of years." ~Darío Gil, a senior vice president at IBM
That's all well and good, but who really cares about quantum computing? Perhaps I shouldn't be so flippant, but nobody really understands it, so what is there to get excited about?
In any case, they might have outdone themselves already and solved a problem that regular people actually understand...
Nope, they haven't moved into battery manufacturing. This is all about a new chip design they've been working on with Samsung.
The new vertical transistor breakthrough could help the semiconductor industry continue its relentless journey to deliver significant improvements, 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.
"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," Dr. Mukesh Khare, Vice President, Hybrid Cloud and Systems, IBM Research.
"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.'"
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So, what's the key to this breakthrough?
Historically, transistors have been built to lie flat upon the surface of a semiconductor, with the electric current flowing laterally, or side-to-side, through them.
With new Vertical Transport Field Effect Transistors, or VTFET, IBM and Samsung have successfully implemented transistors that are built perpendicular to the surface of the chip with a vertical, or up-and-down, current flow.
The VTFET process addresses many barriers to performance and limitations to extend Moore's Law as chip designers attempt to pack more transistors into a fixed space. It also influences the contact points for the transistors, allowing for greater current flow with less wasted energy.
Overall, the new design aims to deliver a two times improvement in performance or an 85 percent reduction in energy use as compared to scaled finFET alternatives.
It's basically city planning in a microchip. They ran out of room going across the 'land' with single homes, so they're building towerblocks instead.
Moore's Law states that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles about every two years, though the cost of computers is halved.
That seemed to be in jeopardy as transistors became so small that physical constraints came into play. This breakthrough opens the door for the computing evolution to continue.
Now, maybe it doesn't change EVERYTHING. Not many things do though. Moore's Law is about as fast as progress gets. Change tends to be more of a gradual process that we look back on and notice later.
Speaking of change, we're upgrading the morning calls. You can now see our beautiful faces, and we're bringing regular guests on too.
We were joined by Adrian Alberts earlier today and discussed some of the changes in the market since the FOMC meeting, and Adrian's takes on OpEx & Gamma for the option nerds 😉
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