Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
  • Like
  • Save
Ict From Silicon Valley To Al Madinah By Abbas El Gamal, Noor
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Now you can save presentations on your phone or tablet

Available for both IPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Ict From Silicon Valley To Al Madinah By Abbas El Gamal, Noor


Knowledge Forum | | Day 3 - Panel 2 - Ict From Silicon Valley To Al Madinah By Abbas El Gamal, Noor

Knowledge Forum | | Day 3 - Panel 2 - Ict From Silicon Valley To Al Madinah By Abbas El Gamal, Noor

Published in Education , Technology , Business
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. ICT: From Silicon Valley to Al Madina Abbas El Gamal Professor and Director of the Information Systems Laboratory Stanford University Global Knowledge Forum 2008
  • 2. Outline
    • Elements of Success in ICT
      • How Silicon Valley started
      • From the Lab to the Market: 10 Lesson Learned
      • How some developing countries succeeded in ICT
    • Thoughts on ICT in Al Madina
  • 3. How Silicon Valley Started
    • Until the first half of the 20th century, the San Francisco Bay Area was mostly farm land
    • It had little industry of any kind
    • Now, it is Silicon Valley
    • How did this happen?
  • 4. Brief History of Silicon Valley
    • Stanford had strong tradition in science, engineering, and business education
    • It attracted talented and hard working students with desire to learn and make a difference
    • In the 1930’s, Fred Terman, an EE Professor, encouraged his students Hewlett and Packard to commercialize their invention (audio oscillator)
      • He personally invested
    • This defined the Silicon Valley culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture financing
    • And, Terman, Hewlett, and Packard became role models for many Stanford faculty, graduates, and entrepreneurs around the world
  • 5. How I Got Started: 1978-83
    • Started out as a pure academic, but assimilated in the Silicon Valley culture
    • Learned about VLSI from Carver Mead of Caltech
    • Met Jim Koford through the ISL Industrial Affiliates Program. He asked me to help their startup, LSI Logic
    • Consulted for LSI for a couple of years and two of my students worked for them full time
    • LSI became the leader in Gate Arrays, wanted to diversify
    • Their CEO Wilf Corrigan asked me to start research lab
    • Lesson 1. One doesn't need to be born an entrepreneur to become one. Entrepreneurship can be developed through the right environment and role models
  • 6. LSI Logic Research Lab: 1984-86
    • Started with 4 Stanford PhDs, grew to 25 technical staff in 2 years
    • The company gave us freedom to select focus areas
    • This made us think in a multi-dimensional way:
      • Understand LSI’s core competencies
      • Understand technology trends
      • Understand market trends
    • Lab evolved into the Consumer product Division with over $1B in revenue
    • Lesson 2. Attracting top talent is key
  • 7. Actel: 1986-91
    • Co-founded Actel to exploit anti-fuse technology invented by ex-Intel engineers
    • Co-invented Actel’s FPGA Architecture and managed design system development
    • Actel’s initial products were superior in performance and easier to use than competition
    • Actel went public, but never became market leader
      • Technology lagged Moore’s law
      • Marketing was weak
      • Had management problems
    • Lesson 3. Marketing is as or more important than technology
    • Lesson 4. Creating a cohesive team is essential
  • 8. Silicon Architects: 1991-95
    • Developed efficient, process portable VLSI libraries and compilation tools
    • Technology enabled decoupling of VLSI design and fabrication
    • We initially didn’t know what the business model should be
    • Pioneered intellectual property model:
      • Fee for design services
      • Royalties on chips
    • Technology adopted by over 30 companies
    • Company acquired by Synopsys, now leader in IP
    • Lesson 5. Innovation in business model can be more important than in technology
  • 9. CMOS Image Sensors: 1992--Present
    • My PhD student Boyd Fowler wanted to do research on analog artificial retina (a la Carver Mead)
    • We ended up inventing a new type of image sensor (Digital Pixel Sensor) instead
      • We initially didn’t know anything about image sensors (digital cameras didn’t exist)
      • Had to rediscover many things
      • Didn’t know what DPS is good for
    • Industry became interested in image sensors
    • Formed Programmable Digital Camera project with significant industry funding
      • Found important application of DPS: High dynamic range imaging
    • Lesson 6. You cannot always plan research. It is difficult to predict next innovation
    • Lesson 7. University-industry collaboration is key element of successful applied research
  • 10. Pixim: 2000--Present
    • Helped my student David Yang start Pixim to commercialize DPS
    • The process technology needed was not available
    • We didn’t know what the “killer-app” would be
    • Spent first couple of years co-developing technology with TSMC, but with no product defined:
      • Hired more people than we needed. Many with no domain specific expertise
      • Spent money too fast
    • Finally, decided on video cameras for surveillance
    • Some VCs gave up on the company, others stuck it out
    • Pixim is fast becoming a leader in this market
  • 11. Lessons Learned: Pixim
    • Lesson 8. Commercializing university research is tricky
      • What is the “killer-App”?
      • How long and how costly will it be to commercialize?
    • Lesson 9. The road to success in a startup can be treacherous. Perseverance and believing in the opportunity are key to success
    • Lesson 10. Having VCs who take long view can mean the difference between success and failure
  • 12. Summary
    • Success in ICT is mostly about having the right human capital
      • To notch engineers and researchers
      • Entrepreneurs
      • Experienced management
      • Experienced marketing people
      • Experienced VCs
      • Successful role models
    • This does not apply only to Silicon Valley
  • 13. ICT in Developing Countries
    • Taiwan, India, China, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, … have all succeeded in ICT by developing the right human capital
      • Training large numbers of low cost skilled labor
      • Developing first rate educational systems (e.g., IIT, IIM)
      • Fostering entrepreneurial culture
      • Leveraging expats expertise and connections to Silicon Valley and as role models
    • Government played major role
        • Education
        • Planning
        • Economic and legal environment
        • Incentives
        • Low cost capital
  • 14. ICT in Al Madina
    • Saudi Arabia does not currently have the human capital needed to play global role in ICT
    • But it has several competitive advantages*:
      • Low cost capital
      • Low cost energy
      • Largest economy in the region
      • Strong petrochemical industry
      • Leadership position in the Muslim world
      • Large regional markets with large young population having growing disposable income
    • How can these be leveraged in ICT?
    * Courtesy Dr. Ahmad Al Yamani
  • 15. Some Thoughts
    • Set BIG goal(s) “Be the World Leader in … in 30 Years”
    • Short term: Choose areas that leverage low cost energy and capital, for example, data centers
    • Longer term: Expand into ICT areas that leverage other strengths (petrochemical industry, large regional market, leadership in Muslim world), for example, ICT services
    • But to succeed in the longer term, MUST invest in developing the right human capital:
      • Emphasis should be on high school, undergraduate education
      • Encourage and reward creativity and analytical thinking
      • Encourage and reward entrepreneurship
    • Government should also provide the right economic and legal environment for ICT
    • This will take substantial vision, time, and investment, but it is the only proven road to success in ICT