MegaChips is one of the world’s leading custom ASIC providers for consumer, telecom/network, industrial and automotive applications.
Headquartered in Japan, with offices in Silicon Valley and Taiwan, Megachips has over 30 years in business and has successfully completed more than 1,500 ASIC projects. MegaChips operates as an extension of our customers’ design teams, to provide a whole solution from concept-to-silicon and has recently expanded to address the growing global demand for embedded AI solutions. With a strong emphasis on cost effectiveness, delivery schedule, and product quality, MegaChips is ISO9001 certified and ensures the highest levels of intellectual property security.
Starting in Japan
MegaChips is an unusual example of a Japanese company founded by an entrepreneur and bootstrapped into the largest ASIC company in Japan. Masahiro Shindo founded the company in 1990 as the country’s first fabless semiconductor company. The company was profitable in its first year of operation. The company has faced many challenges, including the 1992 economic downturn and the 1995 earthquake which forced 30% of the employees into evacuation centers. However, MegaChips overcame them all and continued to grow.
In 1998, the company achieved the goal that all startups dream of, an initial public offering (IPO). And like so many US-based startups, all the initial 21 employees held stock options, and at the time of the IPO, all the employees were shareholders.
Moving to the US
MegaChips came to the United States in 1995, but kept a low profile. However it has made a number of strategic investments in the US. It acquired SiTime Corp, located in Santa Clara CA, in 2014 and then spun it out as a public company in 2019. In July 2021, MegaChips invested in SiliconBrite, a company focused on analog and mixed-signal technologies. Later in 2021, MegaChips struck a strategic partnership with Motus-Labs to work jointly on products for the robotics and automated equipment.
In a much more aggressive move, in mid-2020, founder and Chairman, Masahiro Shindo, identified AI/ML technology to be critical to Megachips’ future and asked the US operation to take a leadership position in moving the company in that direction.
MegaChips began an internal training program to allow a group of dedicated engineers to become experts in this important technology. The company made significant investments in the US to identify key partners, build relationships with local universities, and acquire key talent in this space. In 2021, the company made multi-million-dollar investments in two key AI/IP partners, Brainchip and Quadric, to bolster its offerings in the Edge AI market. The company is now positioned to make an aggressive move into the US ASIC market, using its skills in Edge AI as a key component of that move.