The Reading / Listening - Microchips - Level 2

Computers and smartphones can do more and more things nowadays. Fifteen years ago, they could not store movies or play high-definition games. Computer chip technology has advanced quickly. We can now stream movies and store huge amounts of data. IBM has announced a significant breakthrough in microchips. Its new chips have improved performance of 45 per cent. They use 75 per cent less energy. This is good for the environment. Batteries will be more energy efficient. Mobile phone battery life could quadruple. We might only need to charge phones every four days.

Tech giant IBM has greatly reduced the size of microchips. Computer engineers use nanometres to measure the size of chips. One nanometre is just a billionth of a metre. IBM's new chip is an incredible 2nm. IBM says it can store 50 billion transistors on "a chip the size of a fingernail". A computer expert said: "We have seen semiconductor manufacturers moving from 14nm to 7nm." He said IBM's new chip could advance artificial intelligence (AI). The chips could let data centres store more information. However, data centres use one per cent of the world's electricity.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Microchips - Level 0 Microchips - Level 1   or  Microchips - Level 3

Sources
  • https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252500454/IBM-Another-chip-in-the-wall
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-57009930
  • https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/06/tech/ibm-semiconductor-two-nanometer/index.html


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)





Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. do more and
  2. store huge amounts
  3. IBM has announced a significant
  4. Its new chips have improved
  5. This is good
  6. batteries will be more energy
  7. battery life could
  8. charge phones
  1. efficient
  2. breakthrough
  3. every four days
  4. of data
  5. quadruple
  6. performance
  7. for the environment
  8. more things nowadays

Paragraph 2

  1. tech giant
  2. One nanometre is just a
  3. a chip the size
  4. a computer
  5. semiconductor
  6. artificial
  7. let data centres
  8. one per cent of the world's
  1. billionth of a metre
  2. store more
  3. manufacturers
  4. electricity
  5. expert
  6. IBM
  7. intelligence
  8. of a fingernail

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Computers and smartphones can do (1) ___________________ things nowadays. Fifteen years ago, they could not store movies or (2) ___________________ games. Computer chip technology has advanced quickly. We can now stream movies and (3) ___________________ of data. IBM has announced a significant breakthrough in microchips. Its new (4) ___________________ performance of 45 per cent. They use 75 per cent less energy. This is good for the environment. Batteries will be (5) ___________________. Mobile phone battery life could quadruple. We might only (6) ___________________ phones every four days.

Tech giant IBM has (7) ___________________ size of microchips. Computer engineers use nanometres to (8) ___________________ of chips. One nanometre is just a billionth of a metre. IBM's new chip is an incredible 2nm. IBM says it can (9) ___________________ transistors on "a chip the size (10) ___________________". A computer expert said: "We have seen semiconductor manufacturers moving from 14nm to 7nm." He said IBM's new chip (11) ___________________ intelligence (AI). The chips could let data centres store more information. However, data centres use one per cent of (12) ___________________.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Computersandsmartphonescandomoreandmorethingsnowadays.Fi
fteenyearsago,theycouldnotstoremoviesorplayhigh-definitiongam
es.Computerchiptechnologyhasadvancedquickly.Wecannowstream
moviesandstorehugeamountsofdata.IBMhasannouncedasignificant
breakthroughinmicrochips.Itsnewchipshaveimprovedperformance
of45percent.Theyuse75percentlessenergy.Thisisgoodfortheenviro
nment.Batterieswillbemoreenergyefficient.Mobilephonebatterylifec
ouldquadruple.Wemightonlyneedtochargephoneseveryfourdays.Te
chgiantIBMhasgreatlyreducedthesizeofmicrochips.Computerengin
eersusenanometrestomeasurethesizeofchips.Onenanometreisjusta
billionthofametre.IBM'snewchipisanincredible2nm.IBMsaysitcansto
re50billiontransistorson"achipthesizeofafingernail".Acomputerexpe
rtsaid:"Wehaveseensemiconductormanufacturersmovingfrom14n
mto7nm."HesaidIBM'snewchipcouldadvanceartificialintelligence(AI
).Thechipscouldletdatacentresstoremoreinformation.However,data
centresuseonepercentoftheworld'selectricity.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________

Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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