This special issue of Microelectronic Engineering presents the proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Nano- and Giga-Challenges in Microelectronics (NGCM2002), which was held at the Palace of Science in the historic city of Moscow 12-13 September 2002 (http://www.atomicscaledesign.net/Moscow). The Symposium was preceded by a Summer School at the Moscow State University.

The forum, which attracted approximately 500 participants from academic, industrial and governmental research institutions from 24 countries, covered recent developments in the fast growing area of nanodevices and nanotechnologies, particularly the fabrication of nanodevices, future FETs and their reliability, optoelectronics, magnetic nanomaterials, modeling and simulation at nano and atomic scale, molecular electronics, and global technology trends. Overall, 83 oral talks and 132 poster papers were presented during the four very productive days.

Selected review papers presented at the Summer school are being published by Elsevier as a book that will be the first in a series -- Nano and Giga Challenges in Microelectronics. This series is intended to equip graduate students and engineers with the knowledge of the fundamentals of nanotechnology in microelectronics that is often missing in the traditional engineering courses, and also for the gurus wishing to keep abreast of the latest directions and challenges in microelectronic technology development and future trends.

The success of the conference would have not been possible without a generous support from the sponsors and institutions that helped to organize it. Contributions and support from Motorola's Digital DNA Lab, Russian Research Center Kurchatov Institute, Nuclear Cities Initiative - Nuclear Threat Initiative, Moscow State University, International Science & Technology Center, Elsevier, European Office of Aerospace Research and Development of the United States Air Force, Russian Federal Nuclear Center (VNIIEF), Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the US Office of Naval Research, KINTECH Kinetic Technologies, and the Ohio Supercomputer Center are gratefully acknowledged.

The 2nd biennial International Symposium and Summer School on Nano- and Giga-Challenges in Microelectronics (NGCM2004) will continue the successful tradition of the Moscow meeting and will be held in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg on 13-17 September 2004 (http://www.ioffe.ru/NGCM).

Editorial Board of the NGCM2002 proceedings