Semiconductors, a strategic issue for the economy and innovation

Smaller, faster, cheaper: this has been the creed of the semiconductor industry since Jack Kilby, an American engineer from Texas Instruments, built the first integrated circuit in the late 1950s. At the foundation of modern electronics and computing, semiconductors have become essential in many areas.

A semiconductor is a material whose electrical conductivity value falls between those of metals and those of insulators. Thanks to its properties and its natural abundance, silicon is the most used semiconductor material, but there are many others.

Components based on semiconductors – in particular, the integrated circuit, which brings together several electronic functions within a single semiconductor wafer – have facilitated the boom of microelectronics and modern computing.

Progress made in miniaturization and the successive evolutions, starting with the invention of the microprocessor, representing a higher degree in terms of integration and functionalities, have revolutionized our ways of life and profoundly transformed many areas of business.

Today, semiconductors are used to manufacture devices that we use every day and are essential for the development of the technologies we will use tomorrow, enabling new developments in a wide range of areas of application from the military to space, the automotive industry and energy, consumer electronics and telecommunications, medicine, etc.

This is the reason why semiconductors have become a strategic issue for the economy and innovation.

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