On Thursday, Suzhou C*Core Technology Co., Ltd., an embedded CPU design company, was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s STAR Market at an issue price of 41.98 yuan ($6.58) per share. As of 10:00 am on January 6, each share was 42 yuan/share, up by 1.29%, and the total market value reached 10.1 billion yuan.
C*Core Technology is a chip design company focusing on R&D and industrial applications of Chinese autonomous and controllable embedded CPUs. It is committed to the national strategy of service security, autonomy and controllability, and provides IP authorization, chip customization services and independent chip and module products for customers in areas with huge national demand or market demand. Its products are are mainly applied in three key areas: information security; automotive electronics and industrial control; and edge computing and network communication.
Its prospectus suggests that in 2009, C*Core Technology started R&D of key technologies for automotive electronics and industrial control chips, and launched the embedded CPU core C2002 series and the corresponding SoC chip design platform, which are applied in the fields of automotive electronics and industrial control. In recent years, it has successively introduced a series of MCU chips, which are applied to engine control, body control and vehicle networking safety.
With this IPO, C*Core Technology plans to publicly issue no more than 60 million shares and raise a total of 602.51 million yuan. The funds are for three projects, namely, “Design and Industrialization of Cloud-end Information Security Chip,” “Design and Industrialization of SoC Chip Design Platform Based on C*Core CPU Core” and “CPU Core Design Based on RISC-V Architecture.”
C*Core Technology originated from the technology transfer memorandum signed by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Motorola in 2000. According to the MOU, Motorola transferred the 32-bit microprocessor instruction set M-Core to China. In June 2001, Shanghai Science and Technology, SVT Group and Digital China Information Service Company jointly funded and established C*Core Technology.
In terms of CPU IP, C*Core Technology designs eight series and more than 40 CPU cores based on Motorola’s “M*Core Instruction Set,” IBM’s “PowerPC Instruction Set” and open source “RISC-V Instruction Set,” and has successfully launched a 14nm chip tape-out.
Also, C*Core Technology has earned more and more each year, with revenues of 195 million yuan, 232 million yuan, 259 million yuan and 140 million yuan, respectively, from 2018 to the first half of 2021.
Its MCU chips are now widely applied in various electronic devices, including automobiles, industrial settings, telecommunications, medical and consumer electronics, among which the automobile market occupies 30.13% of MCU share. Vehicles generally need 50-100 MCU chips.
The growing demand for MCUs is mainly driven by automobile electrification, enhanced safety features, ADAS and automated driving-car entertainment systems, and automobile exhaust emission regulations.
In the automotive MCU market, the competition pattern has been relatively stable in the past decade. International giants NXP, Infineon, Renesas, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments have long occupied the top five in the global automotive MCU market, accounting for more than 95% of the market in 2020.