Semiconductor leaders convene to localize in-Kingdom expertise

May 10, 2023

THUWAL — Leading researchers, ministers, investors and corporations will gather on the campus of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for the Future of Semiconductors Forum 2023, May 15–18, 2023, to discuss the future of the semiconductor economy in Saudi Arabia and strategies for expanding local expertise.

The event is hosted by KAUST and co-organized with the Research Development and Innovation Authority and King Adulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), with KAUST President Dr. Tony Chan and KACST President Dr. Munir M. Eldesouki officiating as honorary chairs.

Semiconductor technologies are embedded in every facet of the modern world, from cellphones and appliances to cars and machines, and the global market depends on an available supply. Yet only a few countries specialize in the design and manufacture of semiconductor products.

A shortage of integrated circuit (IC) chips during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted — the Kingdom to plan for and build an infrastructure of local semiconductor expertise. The annual Semiconductor Forum is an important hub toward this goal, and KAUST is a major contributor, providing specialized research, facilities and resources to advance semiconductor materials and development.

The Forum will showcase the latest developments in the area of semiconductors; stimulate discussion about current challenges and opportunities; and foster collaborations for semiconductor research, development and manufacturing.

The roster engages participants in a full slate of activities such as plenary speeches, discussion sessions, poster competitions and lab tours. Among the featured guests is Nobel Prize Laureate Shuji Nakamura (Physics 2014), professor of materials at University of California, Santa Barbara, whose invention of the blue light-emitting diode (LED) has become the foundation of energy-efficient lighting technology today.

Event sponsors are Invest Saudi, Saudi Aramco, Ajlan & Bros, Bain & Company, Synopsys, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Jeol, Oxford Instruments, and Trysl Tech, with presentations by Eng. Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment, and representatives from NEOM, Lucid, major Saudi universities, and many other distinguished institutes.

“By localizing the research and production of sensors, e-chips, photovoltaics and a suite of related semiconductor components, the Kingdom is coming to the table prepared to lead in any number of areas, from the energy transition to the digital revolution,” KAUST President Chan said.

KACST President Eldesouki added, “This is a galvanizing moment for the Kingdom to advance its semiconductor agenda. We have the skills. We have the will. And we have a network of specialized resources for delivering superior products.”

This second forum builds on the success of the first (March 2022), which launched the Saudi Semiconductor Program to conduct scientific research in electronic chip technologies and upskill talent in the field of design and production.

Visit the Future of Semiconductors Forum 2023 website to register and for all event details

The live stream of the event can be viewed here -

May 10, 2023
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