Saudi Arabia plans US$266 million fund to attract chip design firms

Saudi Arabia plans US$266 million fund to attract chip design firms

News |
By Peter Clarke

Cette publication existe aussi en Français

Saudi Arabia has announced a National Semiconductor Hub with plans to offer a support fund worth 1 billion riyals (about US$267 million) to attract fabless chip companies to the kingdom.

The aim is to attract 50 chip design firms to the kingdom by 2030 as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 program led by Crown Prince Mohammed.

The formation of the National Semiconductor Hub was announced at the third annual The Future of Semiconductors Forum 2024 held in Riyadh, hosted by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

“The semiconductor industry is projected to become a US$1 trillion industry in the next few years and Saudi Arabia must play a role in this growth, both regionally and globally, over the coming years,” Mohammed Al Otaibi, acting head of the Saudi Research Development and Innovation Authority (RDIA), reportedly said while speaking at the forum.

Naveed Sherwani

Naveed Sherwani, who serves as chair and CEO of EDA company Rapid Silicon, has been appointed as the head of the National Semiconductor Center, according to reports. He is reported saying that said that three companies have signed up and another 7 have shown interest.

“Companies that are eager to establish themselves in this new Silicon Valley will have access to a fund created by a consortium of deep tech venture capitalists, which is starting with SAR1 billion,” Sherwani added.

Saudi has recently launched a US$100 billion investment firm Alat to target semiconductors and other deep tech industries. The company was launched in February with the aim of creating 39,000 direct non-oil jobs in the kingdom.

Initially the National Semiconductor Hub aims to secure over 150 million riyals (about US$40 million) and attract 25 global experts through a special residency program.

Saudi is not the first oil-rich country that has aspired to use its wealth to pivot into technology. Most recently Abu Dhabi took ownership of Globalfoundries Inc. and invested several billion dollars in the foundry before deciding to cash out via an IPO (see GlobalFoundries valued at US$25 billion in IPO pricing).

Related links and articles:

GlobalFoundries valued at US$25 billion in IPO pricing  

CFIUS review leads to AI startup losing Saudi backing

Prophesee raises €50 million from China, Saudi Arabia

OpenAI’s Altman seeks trillions of dollars for chip project

If you enjoyed this article, you will like the following ones: don't miss them by subscribing to :    eeNews on Google News


Linked Articles