IBM Research Alliance's 7nm Node Chips

The secret to packing a whopping 20 billion transistors onto a fingernail-sized chip involves a combination of Silicon Germanium (SiGe) channel transistors and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography integration. This formula, championed by an alliance led by IBM Research, is billed as the semiconductor industry's first 7nm node chip with functioning transistors. Today, microprocessors leverage 22nm and 14nm technologies, and 10nm is on its way to maturity. The new 7nm technology in the IBM consortium's test chips is considered critical to meeting the anticipated demands of future cloud computing and Big Data systems, cognitive computing, mobile products and other emerging technologies. Other partners in the public-private consortium include GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Samsung and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.