Future Horizons hosted its 17th International Electronics Forum (IEF) in Dubai from May 7-8 under the auspices of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. Facing a 12-hour flight from JFK in New York, I packed lots of reading material, DVDs and CDs to pass the time. The DVDs and CDs weren’t necessary, since Emirates Airlines has a multimedia feast for passengers, consisting of hundreds of movies, TV shows, music, and games—which you access via a touch screen display embedded in back of the seat you’re facing.
You lose eight hours on the flight, so I arrived a bit weary in Dubai. But I was alert enough on the ride over from the airport to my hotel to notice the unbelievable amount of construction going on in the city, both buildings and roadways.
The location of the Forum is the Madinat Jumeirah, an exquisite complex of hotels, a conference hall, shopping plaza, and summer houses sitting right on the Persian Gulf. Travel from place to place in the complex is facilitated by small electric boats navigating a man-made lagoon.
Future Horizons (www.futurehorizons.com) bills itself as one of the top global semiconductor industry analysts, and is headed up by Malcolm Penn, chairman and CEO. The theme of this year’s conference is “Revolution or Evolution.” Speakers include Mark Pinto of Applied Materials, Luc van den Hove of IMEC, JJ Yamaguchi of NEC Electronics, Petri Liuha from Nokia Research Centre, Theo Claasen of NXP Semiconductors, Kees van der Klauw of Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Stefan Kampmann from Robert Bosch, Loic Lietar of STMicroelectronics, VG Gujrathi of TATA Motors and other leading international electronics industry companies. The IEF is an event for senior level personnel who need to understand the way the speakers and Penn himself sees the future of the semiconductor industry unfolding.
In addition to the event itself, attendees are invited for a tour of the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) and Dubai Circuit Design Center. The DSO (www.dso.ae) is a multi-billion dollar Dubai Government project, spread over 7.2 sq-km for IC design, systems assembly, manufacturing companies, warehousing, and for setting up regional offices.
I’ll be reporting from the conference and hope to do some interviews from the DSO and design center.