IBM claimed a semiconductor technology breakthrough could be used to quadruple mobile device battery life, slash energy use in data centres, improve processing speed in laptops and allow faster object detection in self-driving cars.

In what it described as a world first, opening “a new frontier for semiconductors,” IBM unveiled its first chip with two nanometer nanosheet technology.

It noted the innovation can achieve 45 per cent higher performance or 75 per cent less energy usage than seven nanometre node chips currently in use.

The breakthrough was made at IBM’s research lab in New York State, USA, with the company citing a boost in smartphone battery as one of a number of potential benefits of the technology. It noted use of these semiconductors in a device could bump the regularity of charging handsets to once every four days.

IBM added: “this latest breakthrough will allow the two nanometre chip to fit up to 50 billion transistors on a chip the size of a fingernail.”

“More transistors on a chip also means processor designers have more options to infuse core-level innovations to improve capabilities for leading edge workloads like AI and cloud computing, as well as new pathways for hardware-enforced security and encryption,” the company explained.