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The third edition of the Future of Semiconductors Forum will be held in 2024 in Riyadh and will be hosted by King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology in collaboration with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The event, scheduled for June 5-6 at the fourth Garage Innovation District in Riyadh, will promote the domestic production of electronic chips and boost the digital economy in Saudi Arabia.

This forum will bring together respected policy makers, industry pioneers, experts and scholars in the field of semiconductor technology. Notable participants include Shuji Nakamura, a Nobel laureate in physics known for developing blue/green LEDs and violet laser diodes, along with Kang Wang, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and co-director of the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering at UCLA and professor of electrical engineering at the Raytheon Company . Steven P. DenBaars of the University of California, Santa Barbara, known for holding more than 190 US patents and co-founding the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute along with four photonics and electronics companies, will also be present.

Umesh Mishra, dean of UCSB’s College of Engineering, joins the list of participants, as do Ross Jatou, president of semiconductors at Alat Company; dr. Naveed Sherwani, Chairman and CEO of Rapid Silicon Company, co-inventor of algorithms for Intel microprocessors and winner of the Intel Award; and Professor Goutam Chattopadhyay, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology.

dr. Munir Eldesouki, president of KACST, said the forum reflects the goals and priorities set by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, in research, development and innovation. It also plays an important role in the advancement of the digital economy in the Kingdom. He added that the event is being organized by KACST, which acts as a national innovation laboratory and hub. Its purpose is to strengthen the system of research, development and innovation, accelerate technological progress and promote the localization of technologies.

dr. Tony Chan, President of KAUST, praised the forum for its achievements in the first and second editions. He noted that the new edition offers promising opportunities to improve the digital economy, promote research collaboration between various entities and share knowledge on best practices in the electronic chip industry by bringing together the most prominent local and international entities under one roof.

The purpose of the forum is to raise awareness of the importance of localization of the electronic chip industry and its contribution to the growth of the digital economy in the Kingdom. It will also explore potential opportunities to localize this key industry to make the Kingdom a key player in the electronic chip sector. In addition, the forum aims to promote research collaboration and exchange of best practices in semiconductor development and manufacturing.

Over two days, the forum will delve into various topics to outline the future path of the Kingdom’s semiconductor industry by exploring the semiconductor value chain, from raw materials to finished microchips.

In addition, it will explore the application of this cutting-edge technology in areas such as space exploration, quantum technologies, 6G communications, electric vehicles and integrated sensors to enable smart cities.

The third edition of the forum will announce important initiatives that strengthen Saudi Arabia’s position on the global semiconductor stage, drive transformation in the Middle East, cultivate talent in this vital sector and address industry challenges to drive economic growth.

This year’s forum follows the successful first and second editions, which led to joint research, development and semiconductor manufacturing efforts. This includes the launch of the Saudi Semiconductors Program, a pioneering regional initiative that supports R&D and skilled manpower in the design and localization of electronic chips. This program works with 16 Saudi universities and has trained more than 400 researchers and students to design and manufacture microchips.

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