In 1960, the Institute of Semiconductors (IOS) was founded in Beijing to meet the need of the "National Twelve Year Plan of Scientific Development" introduced by Premier Zhou Enlai in 1956, in which the development of semiconductor science and technology was identified as one of "the Four Urgent Measures". Since its foundation, it has become one of the most important bases for the research and development of semiconductor science and technology in China.

IOS has 2 national research centers (the National Research Center for Optoelectronic Technology and the National Engineering Research Center for Optoelectronic Devices), 3 state key laboratories (the State Key Laboratory for Superlattices and Microstructures, the State Key Laboratory on Integrated Optoelectronics (IOS Division), and the State Key Laboratory for Surface Physics (IOS Division)), 3 CAS laboratories (the CAS Key Laboratory of Semiconductor Material Science , the CAS Semiconductor Lighting R&D Center and the CAS Key Laboratory of solid-state optoelectronics information technology). In addition, IOS has the Engineering Research Center for Semiconductor Integrated Technology, the Optoelectronics R&D Center, the Material Science Center, the High-Speed Circuits and Artificial Neural Networks Laboratory, the Nano-Optoelectronics Laboratory, the Optoelectronic System Laboratory, the Laboratory of All-Solid-State
Laser Sources and the Component Testing Center.

At present, there are more than 680 IOS staff, of whom 500 about are scientific researchers, including 6 CAS academician, 2 CAE academician, 28 high caliber researchers from overseas, and 16 recipients of the "National Funds for Distinguished Young Scholars". Prof. Huang Kun, an CAS academician and a well-known solid-state physicist, was awarded the "State Top Science and Technology Award" in 2001. Currently, IOS runs three postdoctoral stations, three first-level doctoral program, and three engineering masters training programs.

IOS emphasizes domestic and international exchange and cooperation, and has built 40 joint laboratories with local government, research institutions, universities, enterprises, providing services for the economic development of enterprises and regions. IOS has also carried out multi-level full-scale international academic exchange and cooperation, and made significant research achievements. Accordingly, the National Center for International Semiconductor Lighting Research was approved the establishment by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of China. In addition, taking its self-determined intellectual property rights in the form of Scientific "know-how", patents, and capital, IOS has attracted social capital and founded more than 10 high-technology enterprises. With these enterprises, IOS has transferred its Scientific achievements into products of commercial and industrial value. These joint-venture enterprises have become portals for mass industrialization and commercialization.

Through the researchers' steadfast efforts, IOS has developed into a national–level comprehensive research institution with integrated research programs, ranging from semiconductor physics, materials and devices to systems integration.

The medium-and-long-term strategic objectives of IOS are to implement basic, forward-looking, and strategic Scientific and technological innovations, which are closely connected with national development, and are in the forefront of international science and technology, so as to promote China's high-tech development. It is oriented toward major national needs and to carry out frontier researches and applied technological researches, so as to provide Scientific and technological support for the national development and to contribute to the technological progress of the related industries. It seeks to attract and train world-class talents, to establish open experiment and testing platforms at an advanced world level, so as to be a leader in the development of China's semiconductor science and technology.