Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

ENIAC - Strategic Research Agenda, European Technology Platform Nanoelectronics

Funded under: FP6-NMP

Abstract

The semiconductors industry and its suppliers are the cornerstone of today's high-tech economy. Representing a worldwide sales value of 250 billion Euro in 2004, the sector supported a global market of more than 6 trillion Euro in terms of electronic systems and services, with applications ranging from transportation to health care, and from general broadcasting to electronic banking.
Semiconductors have pervaded our lives in the past fifty years. Without it, the rich multimedia experience that we enjoy in today's world of CD, MP3, DVD, and the internet would not have been possible. Without it, we would not be able to talk to people around the world, exchange messages or share photographs and video clips via a personal portable device that fits into our top pocket. Without it, our cars would do far fewer kilometres per litre of fuel, heavily pollute the environment and cause more accidents.
The shift from the past era of microelectronics, where semiconductor devices were measured in microns (1 millionth of a meter) to the new era of nanoelectronics where they shrink to dimensions measured in nanometers (1 billionth of a meter) will make the semiconductor sector even more pervasive than it is today. It will allow much more intelligence and far greater interactivity to be built into many more everyday items around us, with the result that silicon chip technology will play a part in virtually every aspect of our lives, from personal health and traffic control to public security.
As semiconductor solutions become ever more pervasive, the associated value in products will increase both in terms of hardware and software. The epitome of that today is the mobile phone - almost 100% silicon-based content plus one printed circuit board, a battery and a plastic case. Mobile telephony is already a success story for Europe. The most widely adopted mobile communications standard in the world, GSM, was developed and rolled-out from here.

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