The 2-nanometer chip, as small as a person's fingernail, contains 50 billion transistors.

IBM announced a "breakthrough in semiconductor design and process" today, May 6, with the world's first 2-nanometer (nm) chip using nanosheet technology. The chip is expected to achieve 45 percent higher performance than today's most advanced 7nm node chips.

For perspective, IBM said it has fit 50 billion transistors onto a chip the size of a person's fingernail.

"The IBM innovation reflected in this new 2 nm chip is essential to the entire semiconductor and IT industry," said Darío Gil, SVP and Director of IBM Research. "It is the product of IBM's approach of taking on hard tech challenges and a demonstration of how breakthroughs can result from sustained investments and a collaborative R&D ecosystem approach."

The 2nm chip will allow processor makers to either deliver a 45 percent performance boost using the same amount of power, or the same performance using 75 percent technology.

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