IBM & Samsung Say Their New Chip Design Could Lead To Smartphones With Week-Long Battery Life

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

18 Dec 2021

IBM and Samsung have announced their latest advance in semiconductor design, which they claim could see the return of the week-long phone battery life.

Developed by IBM Research and Samsung through IBM’s Albany Research Alliance engineers hope to have sold the problem of ever-smaller chips, which become more densely packed with transistors with less space to fit them in.

This physical constraint is blocking the trajectory of integrated circuit chip progress under Moore’s Law, which assumed chip density will double every two years. 

“This new approach addresses scaling barriers by relaxing physical constraints on transistor gate length, spacer thickness, and contact size so that these features can each be optimized; either for performance or energy consumption,” IBM Research says in a blogpost

Potentially offering a “two times improvement in performance or an 85 percent reduction in energy use” compared to current designs, the new Vertical Transport Field Effect Transistors (VTFET) design will not yet be used in consumer chips.

The chip also has even wider implications serving to 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.