Electroceramics research is driven by technology and device applications. This growing field includes a vast number of magnetic, dielectric, ionically conducting, semiconducting, and superconducting ceramics used in domains as diverse as transportation, industrial production, power engineering, medicine and health care, consumer electronics, and communication. Al the turn of the decade, three major trends are gaining importance: Materials integration issues play an increasingly important role driven by the interest in integrating electroceramic functions into conventional semiconductor chips as well as by the evolution of multifunctional components and systems. The industrial production process currently is in a transition from empirical studies and physical demonstrators into virtual design and testing. To fit into this evolution, for integrated as well as for discrete electroceramic components, a rise in modeling and numerical simulation of material- and device-related properties presently occurs. Electroceramic materials are following in the footsteps of conventional semiconductors with respect to further miniaturization, and are experiencing the same evolution:from microtechnology towards nanotechnology. Nanosize effects and nanotechnology issues are therefore gaining importance. In the context of these three issues, we discuss the research in electroceramics during the last decade and basic trends for the future. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd on behalf of Acta Metallurgica Inc. All rights reserved.