Fresh from IEDM, my [JR] first thought is that it continues to be a great forum to interact with people speaking the same language (language of semiconductors, that is), to refresh all contacts, and to establish new ones. And that's why people who want to stay "in touch" are drawn to the meetings such as IEDM. With at least six sessions being ran in parallel even the most diligent attendee won't be able to listen to more than some 15% of all the talks given. So, in terms of technical contents the best source of information is a Technical Digest containing all the papers presented (which, by the way, can be acquired at the fraction of the cost of attendence at the meeting).
Still, it is not the same as the most valuable experience come from just being there. As far as technical content is concerned my [JR] first impression is that the IEDM 2011 was mostly confirming trends in semiconductor device science and engineering that are already established rather than bringing to the surface entirely new technical solutions.
I [JR] will be more specific in this regard in the follow up blogs. [So, stay tuned...]