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IC designer Amlogic turns to automotive, Wi-Fi chips

China's IC designer Amlogic Inc expects Wi-Fi and automotive chips to further spur its growth, after the smart TV market gets more competitive, according to the company.

Driven by the demand for smart TVs, many IC suppliers in China have found ways into the segment of TV chips.

Amlogic launched smart TV chips in 2011, and in 2015, TCL and Skyworth spent about US$25 million obtaining a total of 16% of Amlogic's shares. Xiaomi and Haier reportedly are also Amlogic's clients.

Smart TV chips have become its second-largest revenue source, Amlogic said.

As the TV chip segment gets more competitive, many of Amlogic's clients have become its rivals, so it has had to explore other segments, such as AI technology.

In August 2019, Amlogic got listed on Shanghai Sci-Tech innovation board (STAR Market) with a new product portfolio, aiming to develop AI high-resolution audio processors and to upgrade smart TV and OTT set-top box chips.

Thanks to the chip industry's boom, Amlogic in 2021 shipped more than 150 million chips. It garnered CNY4.778 billion (US$751 million) in revenues in 2021, up 74.5% year-on-year. Its net profit came to CNY814 million, a six-fold growth on year.

Amlogic has extended to new segments, Wi-Fi chips and vehicle chips. In August 2021, the company launched its first Wi-Fi 5/BT 5.2 system-on-chip (SoC) that supports high-speed audiovisual signal transmission. The SoC has entered volume production, industry sources said.

The company has made some progress in vehicle electronics as well. To support in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) applications, Amlogic installed a V-series automotive chips production line with 12nm manufacturing process.

An automotive chip requires longer R&D cycles, but its materialization can demonstrate a company's capability, Amlogic said.