Saudi Arabia Boosts Chip Ambitions, Launches Semiconductor Hub

The hub aims to draw 50 companies and attract over 25 world-class experts by 2030.

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  • [Image source: Krishna Prasad/MITSMR Middle East]

    Saudi Arabia has launched a new strategy to become a hub for semiconductor design. It has set up the National Semiconductor Hub to develop fabless chip companies that design new semiconductors and attract chip makers to the country. 

    The new initiative, supported by a deep tech venture capital fund exceeding $266 million, aims to attract at least 50 semiconductor design companies to the kingdom by 2030.

    The hub will attract over 25 world-class experts to provide vision, advice, and guidance through a premium residency program. It also aims to train over 5,000 engineers in semiconductor design by 2030.

    The initiative also aims to support products from the Saudi Arabia National Technology Development Program and incentivize and attract talent to the sector.

    Dr. Mohammed Al-Otaibi, general supervisor of the Research and Development and Innovation Authority, said that the hub will play a vital role in boosting local industries, supporting research and innovation, and fostering a cutting-edge environment to strengthen the kingdom’s position in the semiconductor industry. 

    Alat company, launched in February, is the national basis for semiconductor manufacturing. 

    Ross Jatou, president of Alat Semiconductors, said: “We will make this a reality with the National Semiconductor Hub and the support of KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology) and KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology). While Silicon Valley took decades to build, our collaboration through the National Semiconductor Hub will accelerate this process.”

    The National Capability Center for Semiconductors, spanning over 3,600 square meters at KACST and KAUST, aims to create a research network for local and international universities and the public and private sectors to conduct specialized research in the electronic chip design industry. The ultimate goal is to fulfill national research, development, and innovation priorities and aspirations.

    Dr. Munir Eldesouki, President of KACST, announced a new joint master’s program in the field of semiconductors between KACST and Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University and the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA). The program aims to offer high-quality education to produce skilled professionals for the semiconductor industry.


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