Global Unichip sees rapid growth in custom chips

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Nov 27, 2017 - Page 16

Integrated circuit (IC) designer Global Unichip Corp (GUC, 創意電子) on Thursday said it plans to expand the workforce at its newly unveiled office in Nanjing, China, to 200 people within the next five years to meet the rapid growth in demand for specially designed chips there.

With the launch of the Nanjing office, the company aims to provide a broad range of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) services to Chinese customers, Global Unichip said in a statement.

The company, founded in 1998 and based in Hsinchu, is 35 percent owned by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the world’s largest IC foundry service provider.

The new facility hosts an innovative ASIC design center that focuses on developing advanced process technology capabilities, which are much in demand by local customers, Global Unichip said.

An ASIC is an IC that is customized for one particular use, such as a chip designed to run in a digital voice recorder or in a high-efficiency bitcoin miner.

“The most important task for our Nanjing Design Center is to provide Chinese customers with efficient, timely and optimally localized ASIC services,” Global Unichip president Ken Chen (陳超乾) said in the statement. “We look forward to growing together with our Chinese customers to create a mutually beneficial win-win situation.”

China contributed 32 percent of Global Unichip’s total revenue of NT$8.52 billion (US$284 million) in the first three quarters of this year, company statistics showed.

The company saw its ASIC revenue surge about 81 percent year-on-year to NT$3 billion last quarter, from NT$1.66 billion in the third quarter last year.

“We are confident that there will be continued significant growth, driven by applications targeting artificial intelligence, network communications and other major ASIC developments,” Global Unichip China region general manager Simon Yen (嚴亦寬) said in the statement.

From January through last month, Global Unichip’s revenue totaled NT$9.687 billion, up 34.78 percent from NT$7.187 billion in the same period last year.

Net income in the first three quarters of the year increased 21.9 percent annually to NT$483 million, or NT$3.6 in earnings per share, up from NT$2.95 last year.

Shares in Global Unichip rose 1.25 percent to NT$282.5 in Taipei trading on Friday.

Since the beginning of the year, the stock has surged 259.87 percent, compared with the broader market’s 17.3 percent rise over the period.