IBM Earmarks $3B for Next-Gen Cloud Computing Chips

Betting big on chip technology, IBM has announced plans to invest $3 billion over the next five years in two research and early stage development programs. In short, IBM says it wants to push the limits of semiconductor innovation to meet next generation demands of cloud computing and Big Data systems.

Big BlueEUs first research program targets EU7 nanometer and beyondEU silicon technology. The goal there is to address the serious physical challenges faced by today's semiconductor scaling techniques.

A separate project will focus on developing alternative tech for post-silicon era chips, with solutions that can overcome the physical limitations of today's silicon.

"The question is not if we will introduce 7 nanometer technology into manufacturing, but rather how, when, and at what cost?" said John Kelly, Senior Vice President at IBM Research. Kelly said that IBM engineers, scientists, and partners are already working on the materials science and device engineering required to meet the growing demands of cloud computing, Big Data, and cognitive systems.

IBM hopes that its plans to invest $3 billion will ensure that the company can produce the necessary innovations to meet the demands of these computationally intensive systems.

A Terrific Challenge

Explaining its strategy in further detail, IBM addressed how cloud computing and Big Data applications are creating new challenges that today's chip technology isn't sufficient to handle. Bandwidth to memory, high-speed communication, and device power consumption are getting more challenging -- and more critical -- all the time.

To its advantage, IBM already holds more than 500 patents for technologies that will drive advancements at 7nm and beyond silicon. According to Big BlueEUs count, thatEUs more than twice the nearest competitor. The company is certain that investing more to drive faster invention and product development on this front will differentiate its computing systems for cloud computing and Big...

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