KU Affairs

Khalifa University to Host Second Edition of Mubadala-Globalfoundries-SRC Forum on AI Hardware R&D in Abu Dhabi on 20 February

September 5, 2020

Forum on UAE’s AI Semiconductor Ecosystem and Launch of Hardware Research Projects in Partnership with Semiconductor Research Corporation

Khalifa University of Science and Technology will be hosting the second ‘Mubadala-Globalfoundries-SRC Forum’ in Abu Dhabi to formulate a vision and to chart future plans for the artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor ecosystem in the UAE.

Titled ‘UAE AI Semiconductor Ecosystem: Looking Ahead’, the AI R&D forum scheduled for 20 February is being co-organized by Mubadala Investment Company, Globalfoundries and the US-based Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC). It will include AI scientists from the academia and industry, as well as relevant government organizations such as Hub 71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech hub and flagship initiative of the economic accelerator program – Ghadan 21, and Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO). The forum will also aim to cover priorities and working-model options to make the semiconductor ecosystem sustainable and successful.

In addition, scientists and faculty from NYU-Abu Dhabi, UAE University and Khalifa University will present the status of their latest research in AI, while exploring potential collaboration. Hub 71 and ADIO will focus on how they are supporting the growing AI community, upskilling developers and outlining startup incubator and funding opportunities for AI startups through the Hub71 Incentive Program, while the private sector initiative Sandooq Al Watan will present its programs on building Emirati talent.

The forum’s plenary titled ‘Future of AI Hardware Systems’ will be chaired by Dr Baker Mohammed, Professor, Khalifa University, while the session on ‘Academic Perspective on AI Hardware Research’ will be chaired by Victor Zhirnov, Chief Scientist, SRC. The session on ‘AI Hardware Ecosystem in the UAE – Key Enablers’ will be chaired by Dr Rafic Makki, Global Chief Scientist, Mubadala Capital–Ventures, while Dr Steve Griffith, Senior Vice-President, Research and Development, Khalifa University, will chair an interactive session on ‘Operating Model for a Successful Ecosystem’.

In April 2019, Khalifa University held the first forum on AI hardware that attracted speakers from a number of top universities in the US and industry leaders. The forum resulted in defining the technology strategy and launching an AI hardware thrust at the Semiconductor Research Corporation.

“We are pleased to announce that several projects from Khalifa University are being selected as part of this program,” said Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University. “We thank Mubadala, GlobalFoundries and SRC for their support over the past several years and for contributing to advancing the UAE’s objectives in this vital area of science. We believe the second edition of the Forum will further intensify our efforts towards driving innovation in R&D and bring AI closer towards everyday use,” he added.

The research projects cover different aspects of new chip architectures for Artificial Intelligence with a focus on power efficiency.

Ken Hansen, President and CEO, SRC, said: “We are in the early stages of unleashing this new technology but already are seeing widespread adoption across many different applications. While an impressive start, there are still unbounded opportunities ahead which are limited only by our ability to innovate AI solutions. Funding university research in AI is a vital element to invent the next generation AI hardware or to add new capability such as perception and cognition.”

News Writer
19 February 2020