Chip designer Alchip Technologies is to debut on the Taiwan Stock Exchange next Tuesday, 28th October.
Although the public offering will bring additional reporting requirements, the move will open the company up to institutional and private investors and also bring a boost to its profile within the industry.
The firm’s market cap has doubled over the past 12 months and it is currently valued at about $175m. Alchip reported revenue of $113m in the first three quarters of 2014.
Designing silicon for miner makers
Alchip specialises in integrated circuit design, more specifically the company is best known for its CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) and graphics ASICs used in older games consoles such as the PlayStation 2.
Over the past decade, Alchip has received investments from several tech heavyweights, including Acer and Cisco. Notably, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the biggest contract chipmaker in the world, owns a 20% stake in the firm.
In the world of bitcoin hardware, Alchip’s rise to prominence is linked to KnCMiner and Avalon. Alchip helped design bitcoin mining ASICs for both firms, using 28nm and 20nm manufacturing processes.
Earlier this year, KnC announced the Neptune, the world’s first 20nm bitcoin ASIC. Alchip and Advanced Semiconductors Technology (AST) helped develop and produce the Neptune, along with the 28nm KnC Jupiter miner.
Alchip does not have any chip foundries of its own, relying instead on TSMC and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation foundries for manufacturing.
Secrecy is the norm
Although Alchip is a public company, details on the company’s involvement in the ASIC space are hard to come by. Over the past two years, Alchip has issued a number of press releases covering the company’s relationship with KnC, but at the same time bitcoin ASICs are not mentioned on the official website or in company brochures.
Bitcoin mining hardware companies tend to be very secretive, but the same is true of all chip companies, as they go to great lengths to keep unannounced products away from prying eyes.
Bitcoin ASICs are just part of the story for Alchip, as the firm is also working on ASICs for cloud computing, ARM SoC designs for Internet of Things applications, wearables, handheld gaming devices and more.