IBM shows first working 7nm chips
The new chips are made from wafer that uses silicon-germanium rather than pure silicon, and theoretically allows building microprocessors with over 20 billion transistors. Yes, this is nearly four times as many transistors as we have on today's computers. Putting the 14nm process on a scale, it compares with tiny biological structures: a strand of DNA, for instance, is 2.5nm in diameter.
This latest breakthrough is not the sole effort of IBM: it comes as the result of a consortium led by IBM, but also with the participation of New York State, GlobalFoundries, Samsung and others who have carried on this push in wafer manufacturing. Other companies are also pursuing the advanced, 7nm manufacturing node: the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) plans to roll-out pilot production in 2017, but it has not shown a working prototype yet.
source: NY Times