History of DRC

The Device Research Conference (DRC) began in the pre-transistor era with the 1942 establishment of the Conference on Electron Device Research (CEDR). Following William Shockley’s 1948 CEDR presentation of the transistor device, the Solid-State Device Research Conference (SSDRC) was established, with invitation-only attendance.

In the ensuing decades, many exciting firsts were presented at SSDRC, including the use of impurity diffusion in silicon and germanium, the first practical MOSFET, and the first lattice-matched heterojunction.

In 1969, under the leadership or Herbert Kroemer and Cal Quate, the CEDR and SSDRC merged into DRC. In 1970, attendance was opened to all, and the first DRAM (dynamic random-access memory), room temperature lasers, and first CCD (charge-coupled device) were reported—all in the same 1970 DRC meeting!

1976 saw the first official coordination of tandem meetings between DRC and the Electronic Materials Conference (EMC) to bring together the electronic materials and device communities—a custom which persists to this day. In 1991, DRC began publishing its digest with IEEE; they can all be found here on IEEE Xplore. Throughout this period, DRC featured reports of many novel and record-setting devices, including the HEMT (High Electron Mobility Transistor), VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser), HBT (Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor), and nanoscale MOSFETs.

In recent years, DRC has continued to be the world’s premier forum to present innovative semiconductor device research with work on organic thin film transistors, graphene and carbon nanotube transistors, and 2D materials all featuring prominently in the 1990s through to the present day. In 2017, we celebrated DRC’s 75th anniversary with special sessions and an article in the Journal of the Electron Device Society. DRC technical topics continue to evolve with emerging device trends such as memory devices, quantum devices, optoelectronics/photonics, and wide bandgap power devices to reflect the exciting work being done by a diverse community of device engineers around the globe.

Today, as we look forward to the next 75+ years of device innovation, DRC continues to lead the way in showcasing top-caliber research, facilitating vibrant discussion and debate and acting as a platform to nurture the next generation of device engineers. We welcome you to join us at the next DRC!

To learn more about DRC's history, please see Aaron Franklin, Debdeep Jena and Deji Akinwande, "75 Years of the Device Research Conference—A History Worth Repeating," in IEEE Journal of the Electron Devices Society, vol. 6, pp. 116-120, 2018. doi: 10.1109/JEDS.2017.2780778.