Light Reading
Funding, spread over five years, will help the silicon giant push the limits of chip technology for cloud computing and big data systems.

IBM Chips in $3B for Cloud, Big Data

Sarah Thomas
7/10/2014
50%
50%

IBM plans to shell out $3 billion over the next five years as the computing giant looks to push the limits of its silicon. Specifically, it will use the money to fund research and early-stage development programs in cloud computing and big data systems.

The money is being split between two research programs: the first aimed at scaling its chips down to tiny 7nm technology, something it says it can do but has yet to figure out how, when, and at what cost; and the second on developing alternative chip technologies to silicon, which eventually won't be able to physically meet the needs of evolving cloud and big data applications.

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is looking to build lower-power, higher-speed chips to stay relevant in a quickly evolving market. Aiding its research is the fact that it holds 500 patents for technologies around 7nm silicon, but it's also racing to out-innovate chipmakers like Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) (NYSE: TSM).

It says its IBM Research scientists and engineers from Albany and Yorktown, N.Y.; Almaden, Calif.; and Europe will be taking on emerging areas of research on silicon alternatives in carbon nanoelectronics, silicon photonics, new memory technologies, and architectures that support quantum and cognitive computing. You can find a lot more detail on its ambitious plans in its release, along with an infographic on the challenge.

This investment comes amidst rumors that IBM is looking to sell its chip manufacturing business to GlobalFoundries Inc. Shares of the company were down 1.61 points, or 0.85%, to $186.81 on Thursday morning after the investment was announced.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/14/2014 | 12:26:09 PM
Re: holds 500 patents for technologies around 7nm silicon
@Susan, yes, that does fit.  IBM is leading big data efforts internationally, so that fits; and Europe is ahead in some areas.  I think it is a smart move.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
7/12/2014 | 2:52:05 AM
Re: holds 500 patents for technologies around 7nm silicon
This sounds like a follow-up research to the nano-scaled chips IBM researchers were working on in Europe last year. Good news for the semiconductor industry. 

-Susan
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/11/2014 | 4:48:27 PM
Re: holds 500 patents for technologies around 7nm silicon
@Ariella, it is an interesting rumor. It certainly makes sense if they are developing the next generation technology - which I had heard as well.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/11/2014 | 12:01:41 PM
Re: holds 500 patents for technologies around 7nm silicon
@SReedy are you implying that you believe the rumors to be well-founded?
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/10/2014 | 9:41:52 PM
Re: IBM R&D has created a lot of nanoscale stuff!!!
@mhhf1ve, I am with you.  IBM is smart to be on the cutting edge for the continued development of technology to advance the cloud and big data.  They are truly building an entire ecosystem to support and advance big data - I think it is great.  If they discover and advance chip improvement with nanotechnology that would of great value - especially if it also develops breakthroughs in energy use.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/10/2014 | 4:47:17 PM
IBM R&D has created a lot of nanoscale stuff!
It takes decades for IBM's R&D to pay off sometimes, but I hope they continue to do their fundamental research -- and not just for the sake of computer chips, but for all kinds of nanotechnology benefits.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
7/10/2014 | 12:59:19 PM
Re: holds 500 patents for technologies around 7nm silicon
Yeah, it made it clear it was looking to strengthen existing research, not branch into new areas. Trying to make it more attractive for a sale, perhaps?
ckasper018
50%
50%
ckasper018,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/10/2014 | 12:57:59 PM
holds 500 patents for technologies around 7nm silicon
Surely if IBM truly "holds 500 patents for technologies around 7nm silicon" then it must have more than just some inkling how to pursue the construction of a 7nm fab?!
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (1) comment


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
LRTV Interviews
Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
LRTV Custom TV
What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection – That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive