Abstract This review is concerned with methods of pulsed heating in thin film technology for the structural transformation in silicon together with thermodynamic and kinetic characteristics of melting, crystallization, amorphization and regrowth processes. Kinetic parameters of phase transformation are estimated on the basis of the solution of the heat conduction equation involving computer simulation for silicon films on monocrystalline silicon and on insulator and SOI structures. The effect of the pulse duration, involving lasers in the nanosecond region and lamps in the millisecond region and the energy density of pulses on the silicon structure after annealing were studied. New effects such as intermediate crystallization and amorphous film resistivity change on heating were predicted. The relationship of film structure to pulse duration and energy density changes is given. Thermoelastic stresses in multilayered structures on a silicon base and the structural defects resulting from pulse heating are shown. The results of calculations are compared with the experimental data. Prospects for pulse heating in practical applications in modern electronics are described.