The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) defines the future development and requirements of semiconductor technology for the next 15 years in a joint global effort of the semiconductor industry and research community. A completely new edition of the ITRS is published every two years (odd years), with an update of the key figures in the intervening years (even years). This article will review the ITRS 2002 update and focus on key changes versus the previous ITRS edition. It also will highlight the major challenges, potential roadblocks, and proposed solutions in the areas of devices, frontend and interconnect technology, and lithography.An effort to define a long-term technology roadmap for the semiconductor industry was first attempted as a national activity in the US in 1994, which became known as the National Technology Roadmap of Semiconductors (NTRS) or the so-called SIA-Roadmap. In 1998, this effort became an international activity with the major global regions participating in the definition of the roadmap, which is now called the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS)1. The mission of the ITRS is to define the near- and long-term technology requirements for the semiconductor industry, as well as to outline potential solutions to meet these needs. Twelve International Technical Working Groups (ITWG) with over 800 experts are dealing with key areas of semiconductor technology covering technical areas from design and devices, frontend and interconnect processes, and lithography to factory integration and packaging.There are at least four prospective customers or communities taking interest in the results of the ITRS:•Integrated circuit (IC) industry uses the ITRS for the purpose of benchmarking and advanced R&D planning;•Equipment and materials industries derive their specifications from the ITRS;•Research institutes, universities, and research consortia define long-term research topics on the basis of the ITRS;•Public authorities fund semiconductor research along the lines of the ITRS.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(03)00533-9