Researchers at Big Blue have devised a new 3D circuit design that uses two or more layers of transistors, the basic building blocks of a chip, stacked in the same way a baker would create a multilayered cake.
The 3D design "adds second or multiple...layers on top of what's already there," said Kathryn Guarini, IBM's lead researcher on the project. So "instead of a single layer of transistors, we have two or three or more."
This new circuit design, which is in its early stages at IBM Research, could one day lead to more powerful chips, Guarini said. By layering transistors instead of placing them side by side as is done now, Big Blue can increase the number of transistors in a chip, boosting performance.