Looks like an interesting event with a great high profile panel, please share with everyone in the Oxfordshire area. The chairperson is Prof Andy Hopper who is the IET President for 2012-13.
It will be interesting to see what impact this has on mobile devices. ARM are a great company with a different approach to chip design, where they produce cores which are used by ASIC designers producing SOCs. Previously they have been mainly working in the embedded CPU area.
This is really good news for the worldwide electronics industry, there does seem to be a recurring issue with China where they produce something very cheaply because labour is cheap and they don’t have the environmental restrictions that modern countries have. The rest of the world can not compete and close production giving China a monopoly, once this happens they then restrict the supply to boost the price, reap the profits and have a better bargaining position with other governments because they can hold them to ransom.
The Register has some figures about the projected loss of HDD production due to the flooding in Thailand. This could cause major problems for OEM PC manufacturers who will quickly run out of stock.