Phone batteries could last a week with new chip, IBM and Samsung says

The chip could also reduce the carbon footprint of technologies that use huge amounts of electricity, such as crypto mining

Adam Smith
Wednesday 15 December 2021 19:29
Comments

Samsung and IBM had claimed that their new semiconductor chip design could give smartphones a week-long battery life.

The new Vertical Transport Field Effect Transistors (VTFET) design will not yet be used in consumer chips, but the companies claim that they could offer “two times improvement in performance or an 85 percent reduction in energy use” compared to current designs.

This is because, for chip manufacturers, Moore’s Law remains a tough challenge. The law states that the number of transistors in a chip doubles every two years, and makers are quickly running out of space.

Transistors generally lie flat on the surface of the chip with the current flowering laterally, but with this new design the transistors can be arranged vertically – so electricity can flow up and down.

This extends the limits of Moore’s Law, as chip designers can put more transistors into a single space. It also allows for greater current flow, with less wasted energy.

Recently, IBM announced a two-nanometre chip that could fit 50 billion transistors into a space the size of a fingernail.

As well as revolutionising smartphone batteries, the chip could also reduce the carbon footprint of processes that take up huge amounts of energy such as crypto mining and data encryption.

Smart devices that need to run at low energies could also be served by this new chip, allowing them to operate in ocean buoys, autonomous vehicles, and spacecraft, IBM claims.

Currently, supplying any kind of chip has been a challenge for manufacturers. The chip shortage, caused by the pandemic, has stopped the sale of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.

"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’,” Dr. Mukesh Khare, IBM’s vice president of research, said.

Companies are waiting as long as 60 weeks for chips they had ordered to arrive – and it is not expected to get better soon. In October, Intel said it was in the “worst” of a crisis that will not be alleviated until 2023.

“We’re in the worst of it now, every quarter next year we’ll get incrementally better, but they’re not going to have supply-demand balance until 2023,” chief executive Pat Gelsinger said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in