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The ROADMAP

The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors is now recognized as the strategic plan for the whole semiconductor industry. It started in the 80s as a very rough and ready model to show the implications of device scaling or 'Moore's Law' where the packing density of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every 2 years. Since then, it has been embraced as a US planning document with steadily increasing participation by international companies. Its scope has also been extended from devices to cover tool performance, process technology, facilities and costs.

The most recent versions (http://public.itrs.net) look out to the technology expected in 2016. The perspective is detailed and stimulating. There are many enticing projections but there are also many 'red brick walls' - issues which require new technology for their solution. The main features from a memory viewpoint are:

  • We can expect to have viable transistors working down to the 22 nm node in 2016.

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