Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
IBM The Almighty Buck Hardware Technology

IBM To Invest $3 Billion For Semiconductor Research 68

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-bucks dept.
Taco Cowboy points out that many news outlets are reporting that IBM plans to spend $3 billion on semiconductor research and development in the next five years. The first goal is to build chips whose electronic components, called transistors, have features measuring just 7 nanometers, the company announced Wednesday. For comparison, that distance is about a thousandth the width of a human hair, a tenth the width of a virus particle, or the width of 16 potassium atoms side by side. The second goal is to choose among a range of more radical departures from today's silicon chip technology -- a monumental engineering challenge necessary to sustain progress in the computing industry. Among the options are carbon nanotubes and graphene; silicon photonics; quantum computing; brainlike architectures; and silicon substitutes that could run faster even if components aren't smaller. "In the next 10 years, we believe there will be fundamentally new systems that are much more efficient at solving problems or solving problems that are unsolvable today," T.C. Chen, IBM Research's vice president of science and technology, told CNET
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

IBM To Invest $3 Billion For Semiconductor Research

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The first goal is to build chips whose electronic components, called transistors, have features measuring just 7 nanometers, the company announced Wednesday. For comparison, that distance is about a thousandth the width of a human hair, a tenth the width of a virus particle, or the width of 16 potassium atoms side by side.

    I'm pretty sure slashdot users who care about semiconductor announcements already have a sense of scale of transistors, so don't need this layman dumbing down. For reference, this is about half the size of Intels latest process.

  • Next Up: (Score:4, Informative)

    by some old guy (674482) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @08:24AM (#47423353)

    "IBM petitions Congress for increased H1B quota to support semiconductor research."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This type of research actually takes very specific talents and long periods of education and study (like a PhD in semi conductor physics). Meaning, any H1-bs they get for this is actually legitimate - and the people they get probably won't even fall under the H1-b program anyway.

    • "IBM petitions Congress for increased H1B quota to support semiconductor research."

      What makes you think any of that 3 billion would be spent in the US regardless?

      As likely, the entire R&D unit has already been outsourced to India (or wherever).

      • What makes you think any of that 3 billion would be spent in the US regardless?

        Well, the IBM press release specifically states the money will go to Yorktown and Albany, New York, Almaden, California, and Europe. (Most likely this means IBM-Zurich, where the Scanning-Tunelling Microscope or STM was invented).

        • What makes you think any of that 3 billion would be spent in the US regardless?

          Well, the IBM press release specifically states the money will go to Yorktown and Albany, New York, Almaden, California, and Europe. (Most likely this means IBM-Zurich, where the Scanning-Tunelling Microscope or STM was invented).

          I couldn't find that, so thank you -

          On the other hand, last time I checked Europe wasn't in the US :-)

          It would be interesting to know how much of the money is going where -

  • by StripedCow (776465) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @08:48AM (#47423439)

    What have semiconductors been bringing us lately, besides the newest social apps and web-enabled office-collaboration bloatware?

  • This summary is targeted towards more of a layman's audience. I would imagine most Slashdot readers know that a transistor is an electrical component and that current technologies like Intel's Broadwell chips are at 14 nm. Really the title gives all the necessary information sans the tech jargon business fluff. I guess the question is if some of IBM's money is going to help ARM again [ibm.com].
  • IBM chipfabs are a decade out of date. What they want is the patent portfolio and the people who created it. When IBM says they will 'invest' what they mean is that they will pay GF to design and make their chips for them.

    • by bws111 (1216812)

      Close. GF wants the IP and people for chip making. IBM wants the IP and people for chip designing.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      Huh? The Power8 are 22nm same as Intel Haswell and frankly in most ways better than the Haswell.

    • by Himmy32 (650060)
      POWER7 (2010) is at 45nm which is what Nehalem (2008) was. POWER8 is just coming out now and is 22nm which matches the current size of Intel's. They are a little behind in lithography but definitely not a decade. A decade behind would be 90nm.
      • by gelfling (6534)

        No no not the CHIPS - the foundries which make them. A Korean chipfab or Intel for that matter, will invest more than a BILLION dollars a year in the manufacturing process just to keep current. IBM does not. This results in much higher costs per unit and a much higher reject rate.

      • Don't forget Power7+ (2012), which came out at 32nm. Intel released their latest and greatest i7v2 series at 22nm in February. The highest end chips at a list price of ~$6K, just barely beat the performance of Power7+. IBM's Power8 chips were just released this month at 22nm. They roughly double the performance of Power7+, and have a 30-50% performance advantage over i7v2 in raw per core performance. They also have significantly more L3 and L4 cache per core, a better memory architecture, and significa
  • by Virtucon (127420) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @09:29AM (#47423643)

    She's been driving IBM into the ground and even investors wonder if you can continue to cut your way to earnings. [netnetweb.com] IBM used to be a company that could and would compete in any market it chose, now it's a shell of its former self. Sad really when you think of the great things IBM has done, and the not so great. [wikipedia.org]

    They've started entire industries and markets only to see them taken away by competitors because their executives weren't agile. In a lot of respects I think IBM will be gone in 10 years because of retarded management decision making and focusing too much on EPS.

    • Right. IBM is a shadow of a former self. But, in many countries outside U.S., IBM, has locked customers, big companies, that still use IBM old machinery.

      IBM, is one of those companies who will still loose a lot of its customers in the U.S., but, will keep on going, in other countries for decades.

      In my country, IBM people is famous for been "old grumpy" men, like Steve Jobs, describe them. They do have junior executives, but, they are really "disguised old men", that come from Ivy League schools. They have s

  • well, 16 potassium atoms, well that clears things up.

    • well, 16 potassium atoms, well that clears things up.

      It is odd that they use "potassium atoms" as a measurement for something made out of silicon. A silicon atom has a diameter of about 230pm, so 7nm is about 30 silicon atoms.

      • Potassium is used as a di-electric material in newer processes
  • $3B doesn't go a long way if you want to play with the big boys in semiconductor research.

My computer can beat up your computer. - Karl Lehenbauer

Working...