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We analyze in detail the requirements for the detailed physical modeling of nanoscale MOSFETs and show that Schrödinger drift-diffusion per subband simulations are adequate for the inverse modeling of bulk-Si MOSFETs with gate length down to 40 nm (channel length down to 26 nm) from their dc electrical characterization. We show that a proper treatment of quantum effects both in the channel and in the polysilicon gate through the direct solution of Schrödinger equation, and a transport model based on two-dimensional subbands are required for accurate and-after calibration-predictive modeling. The model is included in the NANOTCAD2D code (Curatola and Iannaccone, 2003). We also evaluate the performance gap to ballistic transport, by comparing the experiments with simulations based on a fully ballistic transport model on the devices structures extracted with the inverse modeling procedure.