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IBM announces super-small microprocessor

A group of researchers led by IBM has produced the first-ever 7-nanometer computer chips, the tech giant announced Thursday, calling them the "next generation" of computer chips.

Describing the breakthrough a "milestone", IBM said the 7-nanometer test chips could become about 50 percent more powerful than today's microprocessors. That's important because some experts believed Moore's Law—the pattern of silicon chips doubling in power ever two years—was finally slowing down in recent years.

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"For business and society to get the most out of tomorrow's computers and devices, scaling to 7 (nanometers) and beyond is essential," Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research, said in a statement.

The team consisted of GlobalFoundries, Samsung and other equipment suppliers. It was part of a $3 billion investment IBM has made into chip research and development. The research team was based in SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York, IBM said.