Numerous sources are reporting that IBM's recent $3 billion investment in new chipmaking technologies and collaboration with the State University of New York in Albany, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung Electronics Co. is beginning to bear fruit. IBM has developed chips with functional transistors using a 7 nanometer process technology.
In particular, silicon-germanium (SiGe) has been incorporated into FinFET transistors, the fins of which are stacked at a pitch of less than 30nm, compared to a 42nm pitch for Intel's 14nm Broadwell chips. Long delayed extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography from ASML was used to etch the features. Although ASML's EUV tools are still slower and more expensive than conventional lithography, Michael Liehr, the executive vice president for innovation and technology at the SUNY Poly research center, predicted that ASML would improve EUV over the next four to six years, before 7nm chips are set to reach the market. More aggressive estimates put the introduction of 7nm chips around 2017-2018.
Ars Technica has a story on this topic with more technical background.
(Score: 3, Interesting) by anubi on Friday July 10 2015, @04:52AM
I have been messing around with Parallax "Propeller" chips ( Chip Gracey's eight core microcontroller ) and find it incredible how many three-ring computational circuses I can manage with a single Arduino.
Things like VGA controller, stepper motor control, and DMX ( theatrical lighting bus ) - simultaneously - with ONE chip.. all run from a single 18650 lithium cell and 3.3V regulator.
( I am anxious to learn how to use the CAN bus... so I can talk to automotive/farming stuff. Looks like this chip will be able to handle darned near any protocol I want to emulate!)
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]