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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 ( 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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