The Reading / Listening - Microchips - Level 3

Computers, tablets and smartphones can do more and more things these days. Fifteen years ago, they were not powerful enough to store movies or play high-definition games. Computer chip technology has advanced at a fast rate. We can now stream movies on our smartphones and store huge amounts of data. IBM has announced it has made a significant breakthrough in microchip power. It has created chips that improve performance by 45 per cent. Its new chips also use 75 per cent less energy. This is good for the environment, and means batteries will be more energy efficient. The technology could quadruple mobile phone battery life. We might only need to charge our phones every four days.

IBM has greatly improved its microchips by reducing their size. The tech giant has created a two-nanometre chip. Computer engineers use nanometres to measure the size of chips. One nanometre is just a billionth of a metre. A chip that is 2nm in size is incredibly small. IBM says its 2nm processor can store 50 billion transistors on "a chip the size of a fingernail". Computer expert Peter Rudden said: "We have seen semiconductor manufacturers moving from 14nm to 10nm to 7nm, with 7nm being a real challenge for some." He said IBM's new chip could advance artificial intelligence (AI). The chips could also let data centres store more information. Data centres use one per cent of the world's electricity.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Microchips - Level 0 Microchips - Level 1   or  Microchips - Level 2

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 :-)





Warm-ups

1. MICROCHIPS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about microchips. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       computers / tablets / smartphones / games / microchip / performance / energy / chip
       size / giant / engineers / measure / processor / fingernail / manufacturer / electricity
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. TECHNOLOGY: Students A strongly believe technology makes our life better; Students B strongly believe it doesn't. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. THE FUTURE: What do you think of these companies? What will they be like in the future? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What I Think

The Future

IBM

 

 

Apple

 

 

Tesla

 

 

Huawei

 

 

Google

 

 

Microsoft

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. TABLET: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "tablet". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. DEVICES: Rank these with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Tablets
  • Laptop computer
  • Smartphone
  • E-readers
  • USB Flash drives
  • Speakers
  • Television
  • Digital photo frame

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. store a. Extremely large; enormous.
      2. advanced b. Keep something somewhere for future use.
      3. huge c. A sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.
      4. breakthrough d. Getting maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.
      5. efficient e. Make or cause to make progress.
      6. quadruple f. Fill something with electrical energy in a battery or battery-operated device.
      7. charge g. Increase or be increased by four times.

    Paragraph 2

      8. improved h. A very, very, very large company.
      9. giant i. A person who has a lot of knowledge skill in a particular area.
      10. measure j. Make or become better.
      11. incredibly k. Find the size, amount, or degree of something.
      12. expert l. A person or company that makes goods for sale.
      13. manufacturer m. Extremely or unusually.
      14. artificial n. Made by people rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The article says computers were not so powerful 50 years ago.     T / F
  2. The article says we can store huge movies on our smartphones.     T / F
  3. IBM's new chip uses 75% less energy.     T / F
  4. The new chip means we only need four days to charge our phones.     T / F
  5. IBM has created a giant chip.     T / F
  6. Computer engineers measure microchip sizes in nanometres.     T / F
  7. The new chips could lead to advances in artificial intelligence.     T / F
  8. Data centres use more than one percent of the world's electricity.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. these days
  2. advanced
  3. huge
  4. created
  5. improve
  6. reducing
  7. small
  8. expert
  9. manufacturers
  10. store
  1. tiny
  2. made
  3. keep
  4. very large
  5. specialist
  6. moved forward
  7. makers
  8. boost
  9. cutting
  10. nowadays

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. smartphones can do more and more
  2. they were not powerful
  3. chip technology has advanced at
  4. it has made a significant
  5. The technology could quadruple
  6. improved its microchips by
  7. engineers use nanometres to
  8. on a chip the size
  9. artificial
  10. use one per cent of the
  1. mobile phone battery life
  2. a fast rate
  3. intelligence
  4. measure the size
  5. enough
  6. of a fingernail
  7. things these days
  8. reducing their size
  9. world's electricity
  10. breakthrough

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
amounts
things
efficient
breakthrough
fast
charge
definition
energy

Computers, tablets and smartphones can do more and more (1) _____________________ these days. Fifteen years ago, they were not powerful enough to store movies or play high- (2) _____________________ games. Computer chip technology has advanced at a (3) _____________________ rate. We can now stream movies on our smartphones and store huge (4) _____________________ of data. IBM has announced it has made a significant (5) _____________________ in microchip power. It has created chips that improve performance by 45 per cent. Its new chips also use 75 per cent less (6) _____________________. This is good for the environment, and means batteries will be more energy (7) _____________________. The technology could quadruple mobile phone battery life. We might only need to (8) _____________________ our phones every four days.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
incredibly
store
greatly
billionth
advance
measure
challenge
fingernail

IBM has (9) _____________________ improved its microchips by reducing their size. The tech giant has created a two-nanometre chip. Computer engineers use nanometres to (10) _____________________ the size of chips. One nanometre is just a (11) _____________________ of a metre. A chip that is 2nm in size is (12) _____________________ small. IBM says its 2nm processor can store 50 billion transistors on "a chip the size of a (13) _____________________ ". Computer expert Peter Rudden said: "We have seen semiconductor manufacturers moving from 14nm to 10nm to 7nm, with 7nm being a real (14) _____________________ for some." He said IBM's new chip could (15) _____________________ artificial intelligence (AI). The chips could also let data centres (16) _____________________ more information. Data centres use one per cent of the world's electricity.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1) Computers, tablets and smartphones can do more and more ______
     a.  things this days
     b.  things freeze days
     c.  things thesis days
     d.  things these days
2)  not powerful enough to store movies or play high-______
     a.  define mission games
     b.  definite issue games
     c.  definition games
     d.  definitions games
3)  We can now stream movies on our smartphones and ______
     a.  store huge amount
     b.  store huge amounts
     c.  store huge a mount
     d.  store huge all mounts
4)  This is good for the environment, and means batteries will be ______
     a.  more energy efficient
     b.  more energetic efficient
     c.  more energies efficient
     d.  more energise efficient
5)  The technology could quadruple mobile ______
     a.  phone bat a teal life
     b.  phonics battle airy life
     c.  phonic buttery life
     d.  phone battery life

6)  IBM has greatly improved its microchips by ______
     a.  reduce in their size
     b.  reducing their size
     c.  reducing they're size
     d.  reducing dare size
7)  measure the size of chips. One nanometre is just a ______ metre
     a.  billions of a
     b.  billionth of a
     c.  billion of a
     d.  billionaire of a
8)  store 50 billion transistors on "a chip the size ______
     a.  of a fingernail
     b.  off a fingernail
     c.  oft a fingernail
     d.  offer fingernail
9)  moving from 14nm to 10nm to 7nm, with 7nm being a real ______
     a.  challenges for some
     b.  challenged for some
     c.  challenger for some
     d.  challenge for some
10)  The chips could also let data centres ______
     a.  stare more information
     b.  stair more information
     c.  sty more information
     d.  store more information

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Computers, tablets and smartphones can do (1) ____________________ things these days. Fifteen years ago, they were not powerful enough to store movies or play (2) ____________________. Computer chip technology has advanced at a fast rate. We can now stream movies on our smartphones and (3) ____________________ of data. IBM has announced it has made a significant breakthrough in microchip power. It has created chips that (4) ____________________ 45 per cent. Its new chips also use 75 per cent less energy. This is good for the environment, and means batteries will be (5) ____________________. The technology could quadruple mobile phone battery life. We might only need (6) ____________________ phones every four days.

IBM has (7) ____________________ microchips by reducing their size. The tech giant has created a two-nanometre chip. Computer engineers use nanometres to (8) ____________________ of chips. One nanometre is just a billionth of a metre. A chip that is 2nm in size (9) ____________________. IBM says its 2nm processor can store 50 billion transistors on "a chip the size (10) ____________________". Computer expert Peter Rudden said: "We have seen semiconductor manufacturers moving from 14nm to 10nm to 7nm, with 7nm being a (11) ____________________ some." He said IBM's new chip could advance artificial intelligence (AI). The chips could also let data centres store more information. Data centres use one per cent of (12) ____________________.

Comprehension questions

  1. What does the article say tablets and smartphones can do these days?
  2. How much data does the article say we can store on our smartphones?
  3. How much less energy do the new chips use?
  4. What could the new chips do to mobile phone battery life?
  5. How often might we be charging our mobile phones?
  6. What is the size of IBM's new chip?
  7. How many transistors could IBM put on a fingernail-sized chip?
  8. Who is Peter Rudden?
  9. What could the new chips allow data centres to store?
  10. How much of the world's energy do data centres use?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What does the article say tablets and smartphones can do these days?
a) predict the future
b) more and more things
c) choose our partner
d) reduce our size
2) How much data does the article say we can store on our smartphones?
a) all the world's data
b) about 63GB
c) quite a lot
d) huge amounts
3) How much less energy do the new chips use?
a) 75% less
b) 85% less
c) 70% less
d) 70.5% less
4) What could the new chips do to mobile phone battery life?
a) double it
b) increase it five-fold
c) quadruple it
d) triple it
5) How often might we be charging our mobile phones?
a) every three days
b) every four days
c) every day
d) every four hours

6) What is the size of IBM's new chip?
a) 12 nanometres
b) 20 nanometres
c) two nanometres
d) 200 nanometres
7) How many transistors could IBM put on a fingernail-sized chip?
a) 15 billion
b) 50 million
c) 15 million
d) 50 billion
8) Who is Peter Rudden?
a) a computer expert
b) a chip designer
c) a data centre owner
d) a semiconductor
9) What could the new chips allow data centres to store?
a) more information
b) more transistors
c) more processors
d) better security
10) How much of the world's energy do data centres use?
a) 2%
b) 1%
c) 0.5%
d) 5%

Role play

Role  A – Smartphones
You think smartphones are the best digital devices. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their devices. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): televisions, laptop computers or USB Flash drives.

Role  B – Televisions
You think televisions are the best digital devices. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their devices. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): smartphones, laptop computers or USB Flash drives.

Role  C – Laptop Computers
You think laptop computers are the best digital devices. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their devices. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): televisions, smartphones or USB Flash drives.

Role  D – USB Flash Drives
You think USB Flash drives are the best digital devices. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their devices. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): televisions, laptop computers or smartphones.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'micro'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'chip'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • tablets
    • rate
    • huge
    • 45
    • batteries
    • four
    • greatly
    • measure
    • 50
    • moving
    • advance
    • one

    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 - Microchips

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'micro'?
    3. What do you think of computers and smartphones?
    4. How important is your smartphone to you?
    5. How much better is your smartphone now than 10 years ago?
    6. What do you need your smartphone for?
    7. What do you know about microchips?
    8. What do you know about the tech giant IBM?
    9. What could our phones do with lots more power?
    10. How much do you like technology?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'chip'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you know about microchips?
    5. What does a computer engineer do all day?
    6. What is the world's best technology company?
    7. What new technology would you like to see?
    8. What do you think of artificial intelligence?
    9. Why do data centres use so much electricity?
    10. What questions would you like to ask IBM's engineers?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________

    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Computers, tablets and smartphones can do (1) ____ and more things these days. Fifteen years ago, they were not powerful (2) ____ to store movies or play high-definition games. Computer chip technology has advanced at a fast rate. We can now stream movies on our smartphones and store (3) ____ amounts of data. IBM has announced it has made a significant breakthrough in microchip power. It has created chips (4) ____ improve performance by 45 per cent. Its new chips also use 75 per cent less energy. This is good for the environment, and means batteries will be more (5) ____ efficient. The technology could quadruple mobile phone battery life. We might only need to (6) ____ our phones every four days.

    IBM has greatly improved its microchips (7) ____ reducing their size. The tech giant has created a two-nanometre chip. Computer engineers use nanometres to measure the (8) ____ of chips. One nanometre is just a billionth of a metre. A chip that is 2nm in size is incredibly small. IBM says its 2nm processor can store 50 billion transistors on "a chip the size of a fingernail". Computer (9) ____ Peter Rudden said: "We have seen semiconductor manufacturers moving from 14nm to 10nm to 7nm, with 7nm (10) ____ a real challenge for some." He said IBM's new chip could advance (11) ____ intelligence (AI). The chips could also let data centres store more information. Data centres use one per cent of the world's (12) ____.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     any     (b)     some     (c)     much     (d)     most    
    2. (a)     plenty     (b)     suffice     (c)     satisfy     (d)     enough    
    3. (a)     hug     (b)     huge     (c)     hugs     (d)     hg    
    4. (a)     what     (b)     so     (c)     that     (d)     such    
    5. (a)     energetic     (b)     energetically     (c)     energy     (d)     energise    
    6. (a)     charge     (b)     chart     (c)     change     (d)     chant    
    7. (a)     as     (b)     by     (c)     to     (d)     on    
    8. (a)     size     (b)     big     (c)     enormous     (d)     minute    
    9. (a)     expect     (b)     expert     (c)     exact     (d)     extent    
    10. (a)     been     (b)     be     (c)     being     (d)     boing    
    11. (a)     actual     (b)     actually     (c)     artificial     (d)     actuary    
    12. (a)     electrical     (b)     electricians     (c)     electrics     (d)     electricity

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. Computers, tablets and phneoasmsrt
    2. fwperluo enough to store movies
    3. play high-inofinidet games
    4. it has made a ngiitfisnac breakthrough
    5. batteries will be more energy nieefictf
    6. eqldpauur mobile phone battery life

    Paragraph 2

    1. IBM has greatly odeimpvr its microchips
    2. use nanometres to usaeemr the size of chips
    3. 2nm in size is bidnceyrli small
    4. its 2nm esscoorpr can store 50 billion
    5. Computer eteprx
    6. IBM's new chip could advance talciirafi intelligence

    Put the text back together

    (...)  could quadruple mobile phone battery life. We might only need to charge our phones every four days.
    (...)  centres store more information. Data centres use one per cent of the world's electricity.
    1  )Computers, tablets and smartphones can do more and more things these days. Fifteen years
    (...)  advanced at a fast rate. We can now stream movies on our smartphones and store huge amounts
    (...)  billionth of a metre. A chip that is 2nm in size is incredibly small. IBM says its 2nm processor can store 50 billion transistors
    (...)  ago, they were not powerful enough to store movies or play high-definition games. Computer chip technology has
    (...)  chip. Computer engineers use nanometres to measure the size of chips. One nanometre is just a
    (...)  on "a chip the size of a fingernail". Computer expert Peter Rudden said: "We have seen semiconductor
    (...)  some." He said IBM's new chip could advance artificial intelligence (AI). The chips could also let data
    (...)  manufacturers moving from 14nm to 10nm to 7nm, with 7nm being a real challenge for
    (...)  chips that improve performance by 45 per cent. Its new chips also use 75 per cent less
    (...)  energy. This is good for the environment, and means batteries will be more energy efficient. The technology
    (...)  of data. IBM has announced it has made a significant breakthrough in microchip power. It has created
    (...)  IBM has greatly improved its microchips by reducing their size. The tech giant has created a two-nanometre

    Put the words in the right order

    1. and   more   things   more   Smartphones   can   do   nowadays   .
    2. not   to   movies   .   were   They   powerful   enough   store
    3. We   can   now   our   stream   movies   smartphones   .   on
    4. power   .   in   significant   truly   breakthrough   A   microchip
    5. phone   mobile   The   quadruple   battery   technology   could   life   .
    6. tech   giant   a   created   The   two-nanometre   has   chip   .
    7. is   of   One   billionth   a   metre   .   a   nanometre
    8. On   of   chip   fingernail   .   size   a   a   the
    9. intelligence   .   artificial   could   chip   new   IBM's   advance
    10. electricity   .   of   Data   one per cent   centres   world's   the   use

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Computers, tablets and smartphones can do more and / to more things these days. Fifteen years ago, they were not powerful plenty / enough to store movies or play high-definition games. Computer chip technology has advanced at a speed / fast rate. We can now stream movies on our smartphones and store huge amounts / amount of data. IBM has announced it has made a significant breakthrough in / on microchip power. It has created chips that / what improve performance by 45 per cent. Its new chips also useful / use 75 per cent less energy. This is good from / for the environment, and means batteries will be more energy deficient / efficient. The technology could quadruple mobile phone battery life. We might only need to charge / change our phones every four days.

    IBM has greatly / great improved its microchips by reduction / reducing their size. The tech giant / gigantic has created a two-nanometre chip. Computer engineers use nanometres to measure the size of chips. One nanometre is just the / a billionth of a metre. A chip that is 2nm in size is incredible / incredibly small. IBM says its 2nm processor can store / storage 50 billion transistors on "a chip the large / size of a fingernail". Computer expert Peter Rudden said: "We have seen semiconductor manufacturers moves / moving from 14nm to 10nm to 7nm, with 7nm be / being a real challenge for some." He said IBM's new chip could advance artificial intelligence (AI). The chips could also let data centres store more information. Data centres use one per cent of the world's electricians / electricity.

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    C_mp_t_rs,  t_bl_ts  _nd  sm_rtph_n_s  c_n  d_  m_r_  _nd  m_r_  th_ngs  th_s_  d_ys.  F_ft__n  y__rs  _g_,  th_y  w_r_  n_t  p_w_rf_l  _n__gh  t_  st_r_  m_v__s  _r  pl_y  h_gh-d_f_n_t__n  g_m_s.  C_mp_t_r  ch_p  t_chn_l_gy  h_s  _dv_nc_d  _t  _  f_st  r_t_.  W_  c_n  n_w  str__m  m_v__s  _n  __r  sm_rtph_n_s  _nd  st_r_  h_g_  _m__nts  _f  d_t_.  _BM  h_s  _nn__nc_d  _t  h_s  m_d_  _  s_gn_f_c_nt  br__kthr__gh  _n  m_cr_ch_p  p_w_r.  _t  h_s  cr__t_d  ch_ps  th_t  _mpr_v_  p_rf_rm_nc_  by  45  p_r  c_nt.  _ts  n_w  ch_ps  _ls_  _s_  75  p_r  c_nt  l_ss  _n_rgy.  Th_s  _s  g__d  f_r  th_  _nv_r_nm_nt,  _nd  m__ns  b_tt_r__s  w_ll  b_  m_r_  _n_rgy  _ff_c__nt.  Th_  t_chn_l_gy  c__ld  q__dr_pl_  m_b_l_  ph_n_  b_tt_ry  l_f_.  W_  m_ght  _nly  n__d  t_  ch_rg_  __r  ph_n_s  _v_ry  f__r  d_ys.

    _BM  h_s  gr__tly  _mpr_v_d  _ts  m_cr_ch_ps  by  r_d_c_ng  th__r  s_z_.  Th_  t_ch  g__nt  h_s  cr__t_d  _  tw_-n_n_m_tr_  ch_p.  C_mp_t_r  _ng_n__rs  _s_  n_n_m_tr_s  t_  m__s_r_  th_  s_z_  _f  ch_ps.  _n_  n_n_m_tr_  _s  j_st  _  b_ll__nth  _f  _  m_tr_.  _  ch_p  th_t  _s  2nm  _n  s_z_  _s  _ncr_d_bly  sm_ll.  _BM  s_ys  _ts  2nm  pr_c_ss_r  c_n  st_r_  50  b_ll__n  tr_ns_st_rs  _n  "_  ch_p  th_  s_z_  _f  _  f_ng_rn__l".  C_mp_t_r  _xp_rt  P_t_r  R_dd_n  s__d:  "W_  h_v_  s__n  s_m_c_nd_ct_r  m_n_f_ct_r_rs  m_v_ng  fr_m  14nm  t_  10nm  t_  7nm,  w_th  7nm  b__ng  _  r__l  ch_ll_ng_  f_r  s_m_."  H_  s__d  _BM's  n_w  ch_p  c__ld  _dv_nc_  _rt_f_c__l  _nt_ll_g_nc_  (__).  Th_  ch_ps  c__ld  _ls_  l_t  d_t_  c_ntr_s  st_r_  m_r_  _nf_rm_t__n.  D_t_  c_ntr_s  _s_  _n_  p_r  c_nt  _f  th_  w_rld's  _l_ctr_c_ty.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    computers tablets and smartphones can do more and more things these days fifteen years ago they were not powerful enough to store movies or play highdefinition games computer chip technology has advanced at a fast rate we can now stream movies on our smartphones and store huge amounts of data ibm has announced it has made a significant breakthrough in microchip power it has created chips that improve performance by 45 per cent its new chips also use 75 per cent less energy this is good for the environment and means batteries will be more energy efficient the technology could quadruple mobile phone battery life we might only need to charge our phones every four days

    ibm has greatly improved its microchips by reducing their size the tech giant has created a twonanometre chip computer engineers use nanometres to measure the size of chips one nanometre is just a billionth of a metre a chip that is 2nm in size is incredibly small ibm says its 2nm processor can store 50 billion transistors on a chip the size of a fingernail computer expert peter rudden said we have seen semiconductor manufacturers moving from 14nm to 10nm to 7nm with 7nm being a real challenge for some he said ibms new chip could advance artificial intelligence ai the chips could also let data centres store more information data centres use one per cent of the worlds electricity

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Computers,tabletsandsmartphonescandomoreandmorethingsthes
    edays.Fifteenyearsago,theywerenotpowerfulenoughtostoremovies
    orplayhigh-definitiongames.Computerchiptechnologyhasadvanced
    atafastrate.Wecannowstreammoviesonoursmartphonesandstorehu
    geamountsofdata.IBMhasannouncedithasmadeasignificantbreakth
    roughinmicrochippower.Ithascreatedchipsthatimproveperformanc
    eby45percent.Itsnewchipsalsouse75percentlessenergy.Thisisgoodf
    ortheenvironment,andmeansbatterieswillbemoreenergyefficient.T
    hetechnologycouldquadruplemobilephonebatterylife.Wemightonly
    needtochargeourphoneseveryfourdays.IBMhasgreatlyimprovedits
    microchipsbyreducingtheirsize.Thetechgianthascreatedatwo-nano
    metrechip.Computerengineersusenanometrestomeasurethesizeofc
    hips.Onenanometreisjustabillionthofametre.Achipthatis2nminsizei
    sincrediblysmall.IBMsaysits2nmprocessorcanstore50billiontransist
    orson"achipthesizeofafingernail".ComputerexpertPeterRuddensaid
    :"Wehaveseensemiconductormanufacturersmovingfrom14nmto10
    nmto7nm,with7nmbeingarealchallengeforsome."HesaidIBM'snewc
    hipcouldadvanceartificialintelligence(AI).Thechipscouldalsoletdata
    centresstoremoreinformation.Datacentresuseonepercentoftheworl
    d'selectricity.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    Technology will save the world. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. MICROCHIPS: Make a poster about microchips. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. TECHNOLOGY: Write a magazine article about microchips being implanted in our bodies one day. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on microchips. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on microchips. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.





    A Few Additional Activities for Students

    Ask your students what they have read, seen or heard about this news in their own language. Students are likely to / may have have encountered this news in their L1 and therefore bring a background knowledge to the classroom.

    Get students to role play different characters from this news story.

    Ask students to keep track of this news and revisit it to discuss in your next class.

    Ask students to male predictions of how this news might develop in the next few days or weeks, and then revisit and discuss in a future class.

    Ask students to write a follow-up story to this news.

    Students role play a journalist and someone who witnessed or was a part of this news. Perhaps they could make a video of the interview.

    Ask students to keep a news journal in English and add this story to their thoughts.

    Also...

    Buy my 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers eBook. It has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for:

    • News
    • Warm ups
    • Pre-reading / Post-reading
    • Using headlines
    • Working with words
    • While-reading / While-listening
    • Moving from text to speech
    • Post-reading / Post-listening
    • Discussions
    • Using opinions
    • Plans
    • Language
    • Using lists
    • Using quotes
    • Task-based activities
    • Role plays
    • Using the central characters in the article
    • Using themes from the news
    • Homework

    Buy my book

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    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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