Paolo Gargini

The ITRS with participation from Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the US outlined the way towards a fundamental restructuring of semiconductor devices in 1998. The ITRS predicted that Equivalent Scaling (ES) methodology was going to start replacing Geometrical Scaling (GS) in CMOS transistors within 5 years. The Focus Center Research Program (FCRP) was initiated in this timeframe to support this research. By 2003 the first technology of ES (strained silicon) was introduced into manufacturing. The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) was launched in the year 2000 in the United States under Dr. Mike Roco leadership. Shortly after Japan and Europe introduced similar initiatives. SIA launched the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) in 2005 aimed at selecting the most likely post-CMOS candidates to be introduced into manufacturing beyond the year 2020 as a follow up to Equivalent Scaling. Both NSF and NIST became active members of NRI. Europe and Japan organizations were invited to participate in INC conferences. In 2012 NRI and FCRP programs were restructured and the latter was renamed Semiconductor Technology Advanced Research Network (STARnet). In addition other organizations like the Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science (E3S) have augmented the research in post-CMOS devices.
In the latter part of the previous decade the pervasive penetration of the Internet and the introduction of smart phones marked the beginning of a complete change in the structures and methods of the electronics and semiconductor industries.
Nowadays smart mobile devices capable of wirelessly and ubiquitously accessing information everywhere in the world have reached the most remote parts of the world. Fabless companies generating IC designs that are manufactured by Foundries have revolutionized the way the semiconductor industry operates. The ITRS was completely restructured in 2014 to address the needs of this new ecosystem. In addition, the computer industry realized that a major change was in order and created the Rebooting Computing (RC) initiative to revamp computer architectures. ITRS and RC have initiated joint activities this year aimed at introducing new computer architectures utilizing new devices beyond the year 2020. Highlights of all these activities will be presented.