Semiconductors and the link with micro- and nanotechnologies - a new assessment
Since the creation of the Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices in 1983, three studies have been carried out on the semiconductor sector. This constant interest on the part of the OPECST is easily explained by the strategic nature – in scientific, technological and socio-economic terms – of this ever-evolving sector of activity. Indeed, since the last report on this subject published five years ago, the semiconductor domain has undergone important upheavals. Firstly, at the scientific level, the transition to an etching line-width of 90 nm in 2003 definitively brought semiconductors into the realm of nanotechnology. The minimal line width is currently 65 nm; by 2008, it should be as narrow as 45 nm. These technological advances have important consequences at the economic level: exploding R&D, design and production costs are making it increasingly necessary for companies to form alliances, while "Greater China" (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) is becoming a major player. Finally, the omnipresence of semiconductors in everyday life and the hopes and fantasies that they create call for an ethical consideration of their place in society. Therefore, an updating of the last OPECST report on semiconductors would seem to be justified.
Short title:
Semiconductors and nano
Start date:
End date:
Expert-based, Innovation, Nanotechnology, New materials, Parliament involvement
Project leader:
Office Parlementaire d´Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques of the French Parliament (OPECST)