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Shojiro Asai to Receive 2009 IEEE Frederik Phillips Award

By Physics Today on November 23, 2009 2:05 PM | 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (23 Nov. 2009) — Shojiro Asai, a researcher, technical leader and executive devoted to electron device technology and its applications to the semiconductor industry, is being honored by the IEEE with the 2009 IEEE Frederik Philips Award. IEEE is the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology.

The award, sponsored by Philips Electronics NV, recognizes Dr. Asai for leadership in research and development in electron device technologies and their applications. The award will be presented on 8 December 2009 at the IEEE International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM) in Baltimore, MD.

Serving many roles during his career at Hitachi Ltd., Dr. Asai's contributions in electron device technology helped propel the company to a leading role in the semiconductor field, and he is credited with bringing many of the company's innovations to market. As a device physicist, he led a team of scientists to design and characterize sub-micron MOS devices considering adverse effects including the short-channel threshold voltage roll-off, hot-carrier injection, and alpha-particle-induced soft-errors.


The 2-D numerical simulator for carrier transport, called CADDET, his team built for this purpose was a world benchmark during the 1970s. He helped build and commercialize electron beam mask-making and direct-writing technology, which has become an indispensable part of semiconductor manufacturing process. This technology has also been deployed for the critical dimension scanning electron microscope used to monitor and control the critical sizes of transistors during manufacturing.

Dr. Asai's direction at Hitachi also led to dynamic random access memories with 3-D memory cells and microcontrollers with embedded nonvolatile memories and digital signal processor capabilities. These are now key components in computers, cell phones and personal navigators. He also played a key role in the development of radio frequency identification (RF-ID) technology that features a very small chip size and non-duplicate ID numbers. It has the ability to trace industrial and commercial goods throughout the entire product lifecycle and now addresses the low-cost, tamper-resistance needs.


He established an in-house venture company to form a partnership that cuts across all industry sectors to implement the RF-ID concept. The unique ID numbers are placed on the chip using electron-beam writing which he also worked on.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Asai received the IEEE Electron Devices Society Paul Rappaport Award in 1984, the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference Best Panel Award in 1990 and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000. He obtained his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, all in applied physics, from the University of Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Asai is a Fellow of the IEEE and the Applied Physics Society of Japan. He worked for Hitachi from 1968 to 2006 and is currently executive vice president of Rigaku Corporation, Tokyo, Japan and HIH Executive Advisor.

About IEEE

IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society, is commemorating its 125th anniversary in 2009 by Celebrating 125 Years of Engineering the Future around the globe. Through its more than 375,000 members in 160 countries, IEEE is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed nearly 900 active industry standards. The organization annually sponsors more than 900 conferences worldwide. Additional information about IEEE can be found at

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