The foundational elements of digital technologies—semiconductors and other micro/nanoelectronic devices—have become indispensable to modern life, and the place to learn about cutting-edge research in the field is the 67th annual IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, to be held December 11–15, 2021 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel.

This year’s theme is “Devices for a New Era of Electronics: From 2D Materials to 3D Architectures,” chosen to reflect two powerful industry trends: the use of so-called 2D materials (having thicknesses measured in atoms) in order to further miniaturize transistors; and the use of a variety of 3D architectures to incorporate more features and performance from the device to the chip to the package.

At the IEEE IEDM each year, the world’s best scientists and engineers in the field gather to participate in a technical program consisting of more than 220 presentations, along with a variety of panels, Focus Sessions, Tutorials, Short Courses, IEEE/EDS award presentations, a supplier exhibit and other events which highlight leading work in more areas of the field than any other conference.

“This year the IEEE IEDM conference features a rich collection of presentations on topics that are on everyone’s minds. Among them are the advent of 2D materials, the growing number and diversity of 3D architectural concepts, the rise of system/technology co-optimization, and the possible end of Moore’s Law. Breakthroughs in these and other areas will be presented and discussed, and ultimately will help the industry and society as a whole move forward,” said Meng-Fan (Marvin) Chang, IEEE IEDM 2021 Publicity chair, IEEE Fellow, Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at National Tsing Hua University and director of Corporate Research at TSMC.

“Also, it is great for IEEE IEDM to be back as an in-person event.  Last year’s virtual conference offered unique advantages, but the ability to interact with colleagues has been sorely missed,” he said.

“With 3D technologies offering many intriguing ways to get around scaling issues, they open up new and exciting possibilities for highly integrated systems with far greater capabilities,” said Srabanti Chowdhury, IEEE IEDM 2021 Publicity vice chair and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. “That is why even a casual reader of this year’s technical program wouldn’t miss the intense focus on 3D stacking technologies.”

Here are details of the 2021 IEEE IEDM:

90-Minute Tutorials – Saturday, Dec. 11

The 90-minute Saturday tutorial sessions on emerging technologies have become a popular and growing part of the IEEE IEDM. They are presented by experts in the field to bridge the gap between textbook-level knowledge and leading-edge current research, and to introduce attendees to new fields of interest:

2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

  • Beyond the FinFET Era: Challenges and Opportunities for CMOS Technology, Kai Zhao, IBM
  • TCAD-Based DTCO and STCO, Asen Asenov, University of Glasgow
  • 6G Technology Challenges from Devices to Wireless Systems, Aarno Pärssinen, Oulu University

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

  • Selective and Atomic-Scale Processes for Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing, Robert Clark, TEL
  • Machine Learning for Semiconductor Device and Circuit Modeling, Elyse Rosenbaum, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • GaN Power Device Technology and Reliability, Dong Seup Lee, Texas Instruments

IEEE IEDM Short Courses – Sunday, Dec. 12

In contrast to the Tutorials, the full-day Short Courses are focused on a single technical topic. Early registration is recommended, as they are often sold out. They offer the opportunity to learn about important areas and developments, and to network with global experts.

  • Future Scaling and Integration Technology, organized by Dechao Guo, IBM Research
  • Processes and Materials Engineering Innovations for Advanced Logic Transistor Scaling, Benjamin Colombeau, Applied Materials
  • Interconnect Resistivity: New Materials, Daniel Gall, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Metrology and Material Characterization for the Era of 3D Logic and Memory, Roy Koret, Nova Ltd.
  • Beyond FinFET Devices: GAA, CFET, 2D Material FET, Chung-Hsun Lin, Intel
  • Heterogenous Integration Using Chiplets & Advanced Packaging, Madhavan Swaminathan, Georgia Tech
  • Design-Technology Co-Optimization/System-Technology Co-Optimization, Victor Moroz, Synopsys

    Emerging Technologies for Low-Power Edge Computing, organized by Huaqiang Wu, Tsinghua University and John Paul Strachan, Forschungszentrum Jülich

  • Mobile NPUs for Intelligent Human/Computer Interaction, Hoi-Jun Yoo, KAIST
  • Brain-Inspired Strategies for Optimizing the Design of Neuromorphic Sensory-Processing Systems, Giacomo Indiveri, University of Zurich
  • Memory-Based AI & Data Analytics Solutions, Euicheol Lim, SK hynix
  • Material Strategies for Memristor-Based AI Hardware and their Heterointegration, Jeehwan Kim, MIT
  • RRAM Devices for Data Storage and In-Memory Computing, Wei Lu, University of Michigan
  • Practical Implementation of Wireless Power TransferHubregt Visser, IMEC

Plenary Presentations – Monday, Dec. 13

  • The Smallest Engine Transforming Our Future: Our Journey Into Eternity Has Only Begun, Kinam Kim, Vice Chairman & CEO, Samsung Electronics Device Solutions Division
  • Creating the Future: Augmented Reality, the Next Human-Machine Interface, Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist, Facebook Reality Labs
  • Quantum Computing Technology, Heike Riel, Head of Science & Technology, IBM Research and IBM Fellow

Luncheon – Tuesday, Dec. 14

There will be a career-focused luncheon featuring industry and scientific leaders talking about their personal experiences in the context of career growth. The speakers will be:

  • Sophie Vandebroek, Founder & Owner, Strategic Vision Ventures LLC. Dr. Vandebroek is a seasoned executive with extensive C-level experience at IBM, Xerox and UTC and has served on public and private company boards since 2008. She is an expert in the creation and application of technologies that drive growth, and in the governance of inclusive and innovative global organizations. Dr. Vandebroek was previously VP of Emerging Technology Partnerships for IBM; Chief Operating Officer of IBM Research; CTO and Corporate Vice President at Xerox; and Board Chair of Xerox PARC, among other noteworthy roles.
  • Deji Akinwande, Temple Foundation Endowed Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Akinwande invented 2D memory, also known as atomristors. He has been honored with the 2018 Fulbright Specialist Award, 2017 Bessel-Humboldt Research Award, the U.S Presidential PECASE award by President Obama, the inaugural Gordon Moore Inventor Fellow award, the inaugural IEEE Nano Geim and Novoselov Graphene Prize, the IEEE “Early Career Award” in Nanotechnology, the NSF CAREER award and several DoD Young Investigator awards, among many others.

Evening Panel Session – Tuesday evening, Dec. 14

A staple of the IEEE IEDM conference is the evening panel session, an interactive forum where experts give their views on important industry topics, and audience participation is encouraged to foster an open and vigorous exchange of ideas. The title of this year’s evening panel is “Is Hardware/Software Co-Design a Necessary Evil or a Symbiotic Partnership?” Moderated by Myung-hee Na, Semiconductor Technologist and VP of the Revolutionary Technology Center at SK hynix, it will explore the idea of what hardware/software co-design really means in terms of technology development and the introduction of new technology.

Vendor Exhibition/Poster Sessions 

  • A vendor exhibition will be held once again.

Further information about IEEE IEDM

For registration and other information, visit