Purdue and World Scientific announce new book series to unleash new era of semiconductor innovation

The College of Engineering has announced the New Era Electronics: A Lecture Notes Series, a 21st century continuation of Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee notes that is being published by World Scientific.

Inspired by the Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee (SEEC), which produced a series of short, low-cost paperback books in the 1960s that sparked the microelectronic revolution, Purdue University’s College of Engineering, in partnership with World Scientific and the American Semiconductor Academy (ASA) Initiative, has announced the New Era Electronics: A Lecture Notes Series, a 21st century continuation of the SEEC notes.

Today, electronics is in a state of transition, much like it was in the 1960s when the progression was from vacuum tubes to transistors. As identified in the ASA-SEMI vision paper, there is an urgent need to update and modernize the semiconductor curriculum. The series aims to contribute to that effort and prepare a new generation of semiconductor engineers to advance electronics in new directions by providing foundational knowledge and promising new directions for technology innovation.

“Microelectronics textbooks and courses have evolved since the 1960s as semiconductor technology has evolved, and they now contain a mixture of highly relevant and outdated content," said Tsu-Jae King Liu, Dean of Engineering at U.C. Berkeley and chair of the ASA Planning Team Executive Committee. "Updating and refreshing this curriculum to help fuel a new era of American innovation and growth is a key challenge that this new series will help address.”

The new book series was announced at a celebration marking the 75th anniversary of the invention of the transistor, the basic building block of electronic systems. Invented on Dec. 16, 1947 at Bell Labs, the transistor has been called one of the most important and transformative inventions of the 20th century. Transistors are pervasive in modern technology, including billions used on silicon chips, which are used in telecommunications, aviation, data communications, audio and video recording equipment, and much more. As the United States re-shores and re-energizes semiconductor manufacturing and microelectronics design, transistors will have an even greater impact in the 21st century.

Book cover
A new book series will begin with "Transistors!" authored by Mark Lundstrom, the interim dean of Purdue's College of Engineering and the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The event began with pre-recorded opening remarks from Senator Todd Young, co-author of the CHIPS for America Act. After Young's remarks, there was a review of Purdue’s development of germanium technology in the 1940s, the invention of the germanium transistor at Bell Labs in 1947, the 1960 demonstration of the mainstay of today’s electronics, the silicon MOSFET by a Purdue alumnus working at Bell Labs and a discussion of the role of transistors in the race to the moon.

The event concluded with a presentation of Volume 1 in the series to Purdue President-elect Mung Chiang, who has challenged Purdue to become the nation’s leading supplier of talent and innovation to the U.S. semiconductor industry. Appropriate to the day, Volume 1 is titled "Transistors!" — authored by Mark Lundstrom, interim dean of the College of Engineering and the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Forthcoming volumes in the series address a wide range of topics from Statistical Data Analysis, Design of Experiments, and Machine Learning to Probabilistic Computing, Quantum Networks and Sensors, Embedded Systems and the Internet of Things, Fiber Optic Communications, and R.F. Design. The initial authors are from Purdue, others from academia and industry are encouraged to contribute.

“Purdue is committed to advancing semiconductor education at scale for the benefit of the nation," Chiang said in closing the event. "This series is an example of how innovative solutions can lower the barriers and democratize quality semiconductor education. The New Era Electronics Lecture Notes series aims to engage faculty everywhere both as authors and as teachers bringing the most modern and up-to date content to students.“ 

Lundstrom added, “This new series will help prepare students and working engineers to contribute to the second half of the silicon century, promises to be even more exciting and impactful than the first half.”

"We are proud to partner with the Purdue University College of Engineering and the ASA Initiative to publish this book series and further innovation in the semiconductor industry," said Max Phua, managing director of World Scientific Publishing. "Through these ready-to-use, accessible teaching materials, students and professionals everywhere will be better equipped for the ever-evolving future of electronics."

A free PDF sample chapter from "Transistors!" can be downloaded.