6.4 Outlook

Despite all advances of technology so far as well as in the future, new challenges will arise and new improvements and enhancements will be required in order to fulfill Gordon E. MOORE's (ITRS) prophecy. A theoretical device performance beyond the ITRS is possible, but mostly with an extremely high effort in terms of additional costs and in terms of developments concerning with respect to reliability of the materials and devices. All this boils down to a theoretical feasibility and the question whether it is worth spending more to build and advance such electronic devices.

Here, the future tasks for optimization can be clearly seen. Future device optimization will have to concentrate on providing additional information for improving device characteristics under various electrical, chemical, mechanical, thermal, and economical constraints. With increasing complexity and shrinking feature sizes, these constraints are becoming more critical and thus require effective and robust optimization and simulation tools to ensure proper device operation.

Therefore, product line optimization in terms of saving money will gain momentum for future microelectronic devices. The temporary sub-targets for optimization will change slightly, but the standardized overall targets faster, cheaper, and, therefore, also smaller and more reliable than the competitors will remain as the basic motivations for the upcoming advancements of the future state-of-the-art in electronics for economics as well as for military applications.

Stefan Holzer 2007-11-19