The fewer the nanometers (nm) a chip has, the less power it consumes, and less heat is generated, so it is no wonder that chip makers around the globe are looking for ways to decrease those pesky nm(s). Right now, the major chip manufacturers – Samsung, Intel, and TSMC – are producing their 10nm chips for the high-end smartphones and other mobile devices. The 10nm follows up the 14nm chip. This reduction is what allows us to have a smaller chip and more room for other niceties, such as a larger battery. It also means our smartphones will not get as warm while running powerful games and that our battery will last longer between charges.
TSMC is second only to Intel in chip manufacturing and they, along with Samsung, are always at the forefront of developing better, faster, and smaller chips. They are already near the end of the design phase for 7nm chips, which should debut in early 2018. Designs may change and hold up production, but TSMC is shooting for 2018. Firms like Qualcomm, Nvidia, Xilinx, and Apple are all potential customers for the 7nm chip as they supply the processors for our smartphones. Samsung will also be in the running as the two companies battle it out for 7nm supremacy. TSMC claims to have a technological advantage over Samsung and predicts they will be the leader in 7nm chips while no one is sure if Intel wants to ‘play’ anymore as they continue to lose money in the mobile market.
The exciting world of technology makes us look forward to the new smartphones of 2017 and 2018. A device that was once a rather crude means of making telephone calls has turned into a mini-computer that we hold in our hand. As chips become smaller, we received more processing power, more RAM, more internal memory, lighter devices, and longer battery life. We can store a thousand contacts, thousands of songs and photos, videos, apps, and more on our devices. We do our banking, shopping, and even purchasing now with our smartphone and authorize those endeavors with the press on our fingerprint sensor. These smaller chips will continue to add more features and make our mobile devices run faster and more efficient.