International Electron Devices Meeting

International Electron Devices Meeting

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The IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting is an annual electronics conference held alternately in San Francisco, California and Washington D.C. each December. Established in 1955, the IEDM is perhaps the world’s premier forum for the presentation of research on electron devices.

IEDM 2011 will be held at the Hilton Washington
Hilton Washington
The Hilton Washington is a hotel in Washington, D.C. It is located at 1919 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., roughly at the boundaries of the Kalorama, Dupont Circle, and Adams Morgan neighborhoods.Developed by Uris Brothers and built in 1965 in a double-arched design, the hotel long sported the largest...

 in Washington, D.C., USA on December 5–7, 2011, preceded by a day of Short Courses on Sunday, Dec. 4; and new 90-minute tutorial sessions on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 3. The tutorials are especially geared toward recent graduates, young professionals and those looking to broaden their understanding of emerging technical disciplines, while the short courses provide all-day, in-depth coverage of selected topics.

The IEDM is the largest and most prestigious gathering for scientists and engineers to disclose, discuss and debate the best recent R&D work in electron devices. “Electron devices” is the general term for components whose operation is based on the movement of electrons, such as microelectronics
Microelectronics is a subfield of electronics. As the name suggests, microelectronics relates to the study and manufacture of very small electronic components. Usually, but not always, this means micrometre-scale or smaller,. These devices are made from semiconductors...

, nanoelectronics
Nanoelectronics refer to the use of nanotechnology on electronic components, especially transistors. Although the term nanotechnology is generally defined as utilizing technology less than 100 nm in size, nanoelectronics often refer to transistor devices that are so small that inter-atomic...

, bioelectronics
Bioelectronics is a recently coined term for a field of research that works to establish a synergy between electronics and biology. One of the main forums for information about the field is the Elsevier journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, published since 1990...

 and energy-related devices.

Unlike specialty technical conferences focused on narrow areas of inquiry, the IEDM presents more leading work in more areas of the field than any other technical conference, encompassing silicon and non-silicon device and process technology, molecular electronics
Molecular electronics
Molecular electronics, sometimes called moletronics, involves the study and application of molecular building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components...

, nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

, optoelectronics
Optoelectronics is the study and application of electronic devices that source, detect and control light, usually considered a sub-field of photonics. In this context, light often includes invisible forms of radiation such as gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet and infrared, in addition to visible light...

Microelectromechanical systems
Microelectromechanical systems is the technology of very small mechanical devices driven by electricity; it merges at the nano-scale into nanoelectromechanical systems and nanotechnology...

 (MicroElectroMechanical Systems), NEMS
NEMS may refer to;* Nanoelectromechanical systems* National Energy Modeling System* Nems * NEMS Enterprises , based in Argentina...

 (NanoElectroMechanical Systems), bioelectronics and energy-related devices.

The 2011 edition of the IEDM conference features a strong overall emphasis on circuit-device interaction, energy-harvesting and power devices, and biomedical devices. This year there also are two new technical subcommittees reflecting evolving trends in technology (Circuit & Device Interaction and Nano Device Technology).

The IEDM is sponsored by the IEEE Electron Devices Society
IEEE Electron Devices Society
The ' is a professional society of the IEEE.- History :The IEEE Electron Devices Society was initially formed as the IRE Electron Tubes and Solid-State Devices Committee in 1951, and quickly became a professional group in March of 1952 called the IRE Professional Group on Electron Devices...

 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is a non-profit professional association headquartered in New York City that is dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence...

 (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional society.

The conference typically accepts approximately a third of the papers submitted for consideration, one of the lowest ratios of any major technical conference and an indicator of the high quality of the technical program.


The First Annual Technical Meeting on Electron Devices took place on October 24–25, 1955 at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. with about 700 scientists and engineers in attendance. At that time the transistor
A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and power. It is composed of a semiconductor material with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals changes the current...

 was only seven years old; the integrated circuit
Integrated circuit
An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is an electronic circuit manufactured by the patterned diffusion of trace elements into the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material...

, or computer chip, wouldn’t come along for a few years yet; and the electron tube reigned as the predominant electron-device technology. Fifty-four papers were presented on the then-state-of-the-art in electron device technology, the majority of them from just four U.S. companies—Bell Telephone Laboratories (birthplace of the transistor), RCA Corporation, Hughes Aircraft Co. and Sylvania Electric Products.

The meeting was an instant success and made evident the need for an annual forum for the exchange of important information about new electron devices and their ongoing development. That need was driven by two factors: commercial opportunities in the fast-growing new “solid-state
Solid state (electronics)
Solid-state electronics are those circuits or devices built entirely from solid materials and in which the electrons, or other charge carriers, are confined entirely within the solid material...

” branch of electronics, and the U.S. government’s desire for solid-state components and better microwave tubes for aerospace and defense.

The conference later became known as the Electron Devices Meeting and established a reputation as the premier conference in the field. (The word “International” was added in the mid-1960s.) It has been held every year since, both stimulating and benefiting from the work of scientists and engineers who have transformed the computer chip from a gee-whiz curiosity into an essential building block of the modern world economy, spawning revolutions in computing, communications, entertainment and other fields along the way.

Originally the meeting was sponsored by a group within the Institute of Radio Engineers, but in 1963 that organization merged with another electrical engineering association to create the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional society. Since 1963 the conference has been sponsored by the IEEE.

Notable Participants

The meeting’s best attributes are the strength of its technical program and the stature of its invited speakers. Through the years most notable industry figures have given technical papers and/or luncheon or plenary talks. A small but representative sampling of notable figures from the early days includes: Gilbert Amelio, John Bardeen
John Bardeen
John Bardeen was an American physicist and electrical engineer, the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the invention of the transistor; and again in 1972 with Leon Neil Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer for a...

, Robert Dennard
Robert Dennard
Robert Dennard is an American electrical engineer and inventor.Dennard was born in Terrell, Texas, U.S.. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, in 1954 and 1956, respectively. He earned a Ph.D. from Carnegie Institute of...

, James Early, Andrew Grove
Andrew Grove
Andrew Stephen Grove , is a Hungarian-born Jewish-American Businessman/ Engineer, Author & a science pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary at the age of 20 and moved to the U.S., where he finished his education...

, J.B. Gunn, Terry Haggerty, F.P. Heiman, J. Hoerni, S.R. Hofstein, Nick Holonyak, Jack Kilby
Jack Kilby
Jack St. Clair Kilby was an American physicist who took part in the invention of the integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments in 1958. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 2000. He is credited with the invention of the integrated circuit or microchip...

, Gordon Moore
Gordon Moore
Gordon Earle Moore is the co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Intel Corporation and the author of Moore's Law .-Life and career:...

, Jerry Sanders, William Shockley
William Shockley
William Bradford Shockley Jr. was an American physicist and inventor. Along with John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain, Shockley co-invented the transistor, for which all three were awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics.Shockley's attempts to commercialize a new transistor design in the 1950s...

, Simon Sze
Simon Sze
Dr. Simon Min Sze is an electrical engineer researcher. After graduating from the National Taiwan University in 1957, he received a master's degree from the University of Washington in 1960 and a doctorate from Stanford in 1963. He worked for Bell Labs until 1990, after which he returned to...

. These are in addition to thousands of other individuals who have made and are making important contributions to the field.

Historical Facts & Figures

• 1959 was the first year the meeting featured papers on the integrated circuit — not surprising since Jack Kilby
Jack Kilby
Jack St. Clair Kilby was an American physicist who took part in the invention of the integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments in 1958. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 2000. He is credited with the invention of the integrated circuit or microchip...

 successfully demonstrated the first working integrated circuit a year earlier on September 12, 1958.

• 1962 brought a paper reporting the first practical MOSFET
The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor is a transistor used for amplifying or switching electronic signals. The basic principle of this kind of transistor was first patented by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in 1925...

, the type of transistor in widespread use today.

• Numerous papers and talks on solar cells were given from the oil crises of the 1970s into the mid-1980s, and still are today.

• Many technologies discussed through the years have since fallen out of the mainstream: magnetic bubble memories, superconducting Josephson junctions, CCD memories, and most types of vacuum tubes among them.

• On the other hand, some technologies from the meeting’s early days faded away but have since re-appeared, such as germanium transistors, tunnel diodes and ferroelectric circuits.

Highlights from IEDM 2010

IEDM 2010 took place in San Francisco, California from December 6–8, 2010. Highlights included an emphasis on power and energy, with two entire sessions, a plenary talk, and an evening panel discussion comprising at least 14 papers addressing important power and energy technical issues.

Highlights from IEDM 2009

Because the usual Washington, D.C. venue was undergoing extensive renovations in 2009, the conference that year was held at the Hilton Baltimore
Hilton Baltimore
The Hilton Baltimore is a 757–room hotel located on West Pratt Street in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Initially proposed in 2003, actual construction of the city-owned venture took place between 2006 and 2008 as part of the Baltimore Convention Center...

 from December 7–9, 2009 preceded by a day of Short Courses on Sunday, Dec. 6. Highlights from the technical program included:
  • Diverse energy-efficient technologies, such as light-powered retinal implants and solar cells made from inexpensive organic materials
  • The next generation of technology for mainstream computer chips—a fully featured 32-nanometer technology platform from Intel
  • Nanoscale-sized transistors
  • Advanced computer memories, including three-dimensional and phase-change memory
    Phase-change memory
    Phase-change memory is a type of non-volatile computer memory. PRAMs exploit the unique behavior of chalcogenide glass. Heat produced by the passage of an electric current switches this material between two states, crystalline and amorphous...

  • One-atom-thick graphene
    Graphene is an allotrope of carbon, whose structure is one-atom-thick planar sheets of sp2-bonded carbon atoms that are densely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice. The term graphene was coined as a combination of graphite and the suffix -ene by Hanns-Peter Boehm, who described single-layer...

     as a potential new material for the continuing miniaturization of electronic systems
  • A continuing focus on device/circuit interactions
  • Many papers on melding standard silicon chip technology with GaN (gallium nitride) and other compound semiconductor
    Compound semiconductor
    A compound semiconductor is a semiconductor compound composed of elements from two or more different groups of the periodic table . These semiconductors typically form in groups 13-16 ,...


Highlights from IEDM 2008

IEDM 2008 took place in San Francisco, California from December 15–17, 2008. Highlights included:
  • A special Emerging Technologies session on micro- and nanoelectronic technologies for the life sciences, aimed at such goals as the marriage of brain tissue with electronics to potentially restore movement to disabled people
  • A growing focus on device/circuit interactions, which are becoming increasingly interdependent as electronic systems become more sophisticated
  • Better ways to build three-dimensional integrated circuits
  • Advanced computer memories
  • Batteries made from nanowires for next-generation electronic systems, with 10 times more storage capacity

Notable News

  • IEDM to Emphasize Nanodevices, C-D Interactions
  • IEDM 2011 presentations preview
  • Intel to talk of compound FinFET at IEDM
  • IEDM, 32 nm, and the all new 2010 Intel Core Processor Family
  • Toshiba discloses 20 nm CMOS channel structure, spintronics-based MOSFET
  • IMEC's piezoelectric energy harvester, plastic transponder circuit
  • Numonyx advances phase-change memory
  • IMEC demonstrates GaN-on-Si architecture at IEDM
  • IEDM showcases the strengths of III-V transistors
  • Mid-decade timescale for compound/silicon semiconductor integration
  • MEMS enables powerless curved retinal implant
  • SIA tech exec calls for new research model
  • For Chip Makers, Hybrids May Be a Way Forward (New York Times)

  • When Nerds Get Together, Semiconductors Get More Powerful (Popular Mechanics)

  • Intel completes 32-nanometer chip development (CNET News)

  • 'Universal memory' race still on the starting block (Electronic Engineering Times)

  • IEDM Panel: Processing Costs Headed Up (Semiconductor International)

  • Latest 32 nm CMOS, memory beyond flash, plus novel devices detailed at 2008 IEDM (Solid State Technology),-memory-beyond-flash,-plus-novel-devices-detailed-at-2008-IED

External links

  • Device Research Conference
  • Hot Chips Conference
  • International Solid-State Circuits Conference
  • Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits


  • IEDM Conference site:
  • IEEE:
  • Electron Devices Society of the IEEE: