Blazingly fast new transistors and circuits on transparent plastic films, along with many other futuristic concepts, will be the focus of discussion at the 49th annual IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), to be held December 8-10, 2003, at the Hilton Washington and Towers in Washington, D.C.

As per tradition, several papers will uncover new developments in high speed SiGe based complementary biCMOS heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) for RF applications, as well as GaN based HEMT power transistors.

Other materials to be probed include InP and SOI substrates. Plus, the forum will shed light on using organic materials to make transistors and circuits.

Some of the papers to be presented include;

• A 3M Co. team will describe how they built RFID transponders from pentacene-based thin-film transistors (TFTs) in paper number 8.1, Organic Semiconductor RF ID Transponders. With electron mobilities of 2 cm2/V-sec. to 3 cm2/V-sec., the 3M paper will report the fastest circuit ever made with organic TFTs. The goal is inexpensive, throw-away RFIDs.

• Researchers from Germany's IHP division will present paper number 5.2, which will disclose the fastest pnp bipolar transistor ever, with ft/fmax values each of 115 GHz, and matched it with a high-performance npn device. The resulting complementary HBT made from silicon-germanium (SiGe), was integrated in a standard 250 nm CMOS process with no degradation of the CMOS devices. It is promising for low-voltage, low-power, high-speed applications.

• A silicon or SOI substrate is not optimum for high-speed radio-frequency (RF) circuits, because RF energy couples into the silicon, which is resistive. This resistivity leads to crosstalk and other undesirable effects. A team from Philips Electronics will describe a substrate transfer technology that enables the silicon or SOI substrate to be removed and the circuits to be transferred to glass or flexible polyimide foil substrates. In paper number 15.4, Substrate Transfer: Enabling Technology for RF Application, the researchers also will show how the process allows GaAs layers grown on germanium substrates (for solar cells) to be transferred to substrates that are non-conductive.

IEDM's three plenary presentations by experts in their respective fields will give a good picture of how technologies are shaping our world and lives. These include:

Ambient Intelligence -- Key Technologies in the Information Age, by Dr. Werner Weber of Infineon Technologies AG;
Future Chip Technology for Mobile Communications, by Dr. Keiji Tachikawa of NTT DoCoMo; and
Nanotechnology Needs Today, by Dr. oseph Bordogna of the National Science Foundation.

Interestingly, evening panel discussions will discuss and debate the following questions this year; "Who Will Solve the Power Problem?" and "When Will CMOS Replace SiGe HBT?"

While the luncheon talk on Tuesday, December 9, by Michael Cima of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will give a glimpse on Implantable Electronic Drug Delivery.

For further information, visit the conference Web page.