New chip design advances set to improve battery life to ‘week long‘ in the foreseeable future.
Battery life set to gain from processor design
Moore’s law is a constant that has rung true over the years in the evolving semiconductor chip industry. Moore’s law, coined on the observation made by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel states that ” the number of transistors on a chip doubles every couple of years”. This means that the performance of chips improves two-fold every two years.
Moore says, “that even though the performance of CPUs increases exponentially, the price of computers is halved every two years.”
The latest announcement by Samsung and IBM implies that their newest design endeavour involving chiplet architecture could substantially scale up the performance of their new CPUs. The innovation forerunners have hinted that the chip performance should see quantum gains while precipitating high energy savings with the result that battery life could see a significant jump, increasing to a week before your computer needs to be plugged in.
The big advance in chip design comes in the shape of VTFET. What is VTFET? It is the leap over FINFET, which is the present chip architecture design that gives us some of the most sophisticated CPUs that feature an extremely high transitor density owing to it’s advanced technology.
So, what’s different about VTFET?
A technological nuance that allows the stacking and positioning of the transistors vertically. Stacking them so allows for two things. First, having the transistors in the vertical position affords the chip with an even higher transistor density. Second, it allows the current to flow more efficiently. IBM and Samsung claim to be close to achieving success. The new benchmark setting CPU design could soon power a new generation of computers.
Massive gains from VTFET
Assertions coming out of IBM and Samsung labs promise to continue the substantiation of Moore’s law. If news trickling in is to be believed, VTFET will allow a two-fold improvement in chip performance with a reduction in energy consumption by almost 85 %. That’s a tall order and could likely upset the current, impressive benchmarks for CPU performance. With a massive reduction in energy consumption, the big benefit likely to accrue is a considerable increase in battery life. These two have boldly indicated that users can look forward to battery charge that will last a whole week.
A further reduction in chip real estate
A week between two successive charges is not an idea users have learned to dream about. With VTFET, a mobile phone user charging a phone once a week could become a reality in the near future.
The VTFET design that stacks transistors vertically so that many more can be stacked, much closer, achieves just what the “shrinking nanometer path” philosophy has always aimed to do. The result of which is the extraordinary performance that AMD and M1 chips are already delivering currently. The significant aspect that facilitates the increased performance of the processors, is energy saving. The breakthrough VTFET technology could accomplish a quantum transition leading to a tinier nm chip. This will provide much-enhanced performance owing to substantial energy savings.
Critical use cases
The major takeaways of enhanced performance and battery life are poised to benefit crypto mining and data encryption. This would welcome the much needed savings in energy as these are intensive computing operations. Edge computing is a significant aspect of the IoT structure. It is another crucial area that will keenly await the energy savings benefit of VTFET.
When is it likely to arrive?
Although that’s a question that will be answered by IBM and Samsung, industry experts believe that CPUs could start adopting the breakthrough design by the end of 2023. Not too far away, if we consider that we are yet to fully exploit the existing 7nm chips by AMD as well as the revolutionary ARM-based MI chips introduced by Apple’s 2021 MacBooks. Also, Intel’s intended foray into 3nm chips for which the chip giant is expecting TSMC to fulfill in 2022, should keep enthusiasts busy till VTFET is ready to make it’s presence felt on the CPU landscape. It is certain, however, that the technology gap between the present time and 2023-2024 will be wide enough to provide users with a thrill as well as redefine efficient computing.