IBM has announced a $3 billion investment over the next five years in two broad research and early stage development programmes to push the limits of chip technology needed to meet the emerging demands of cloud computing and big data systems within the manufacturing industry.
The investments will push IBM's semiconductor innovations from today’s breakthroughs into the advanced technology leadership required for the future.
The first research programme is aimed at so-called ‘7 nanometer and beyond’ silicon technology that will address serious physical challenges that are threatening current semiconductor scaling techniques and will impede the ability to manufacture such chips.
The second is focused on developing alternative technologies for post-silicon era chips using entirely different approaches, which IBM scientists and other experts say are required because of the physical limitations of silicon based semiconductors.
Cloud and big data applications are placing new challenges on systems, just as the underlying chip technology is facing numerous significant physical scaling limits.
IBM will be investing significantly in emerging areas of research that are already underway at IBM such as carbon nanoelectronics, silicon photonics, new memory technologies, and architectures that support quantum and cognitive computing.
The research teams will subsequently be focusing on providing orders of magnitude improvement in system level performance and energy efficient computing.
In addition, IBM will continue to invest in the nanosciences and quantum computing; two areas of fundamental science where IBM has remained a pioneer for more than three decades.
"In the next ten years, computing hardware systems will be fundamentally different as our scientists and engineers push the limits of semiconductor innovations to explore the post-silicon future," said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "IBM Research and Development teams are creating breakthrough innovations that will fuel the next era of computing systems."
Click here to see a run-down of the nine areas of research IBM have already tapped into or will be developing over the coming months, as the company continues to find ways to optimise cloud computing and big data in the manufacturing industry.