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IC development is the primary focus of Appotech Ltd, which aims to become the leading global supplier of MCUs

AppoTech Ltd founder Chuck Cheng is one of nature's entrepreneurs, and he wants to see as many as possible of his 100-plus employees follow in his footsteps. "I want to develop a culture of entrepreneurship so people will graduate from this company and start businesses of their own," he maintains.

His ambition is to establish AppoTech as the leading global supplier of multicontroller units (MCUs) by combining Asia's cost-effective operating environment and Hong Kong's strategic advantage with the experience he gained in Silicon Valley.

Mr Cheng is well on his way, having taken just six years to establish AppoTech as a leading 'fabless' integrated circuit (IC) design house. "The company is a one-stop solution provider in IC design and application development, poised to dominate the System on Chip (SoC) market," he claims.

Much of this success is due to the experience the Hong Kong-born businessman gained in Silicon Valley where he founded three notable companies - including successful IC design house Ubicom - and won recognition as an IC designer who currently holds nine US patents.

Mr Cheng returned home in 2003 to join the Incu-Tech programme organised by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp, establishing the company in Hong Kong before opening an office in Silicon Valley. "We're currently in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Silicon Valley and also in Zhuhai," Mr Cheng explains.

AppoTech currently offers training and careers to Hong Kong university graduates, who work closely with customers to develop MCUs fine-tuned to the high-end, middle-range or low-cost applications required.

The company has created MCUs for a wide range of products including

  • home appliances
  • digital photo frames
  • car audio systems
  • digital multimedia baby monitors
  • wireless microphones with interference-free transmission technology
  • SD cards
  • flash card controllers
  • card readers
  • USB drives
  • mobile storage controllers

"We are a market-driven company," Mr Cheng insists. "So much of our market is in the Pearl River Delta that we can work directly with customers in developing their products."

He adds that AppoTech has created "a great deal" of intellectual property, which means the company can be cost-competitive. "It is very expensive to develop, but we don't have to licence our technology and we can adapt it," Mr Cheng explains.

AppoTech's manufacturing is handled by semiconductor fabrication plants or foundries in a variety of locations, and this situation won't change. "Foundries are quite expensive, and I want to stay close to what I know, which is IC development," he explains.

Although the company is very much focused on customers in the Pearl River Delta, it has also developed markets overseas - including Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Along the way AppoTech has also picked up its fair share of honours, winning the 2008 Hong Kong Awards for Industries Technological Achievement Award; the SME Award in the DHL/SCMP Hong Kong Business Awards 2008 in recognition of excellence in business performance and market development; and the 2005 Hong Kong Awards for Industries Technological Achievement Certificate of Merit.

Fast Facts

Appotech Ltd
Units 110-111,1/F
IC Development Centre
Hong Kong Science Park
Sha Tin, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2607-4090
Fax: 852-2607-4096
Email: info@appotech.com
Web: www.appotech.com
Year Established: 2003
Major Product Categories: ICs/semiconductors
Own Brands & Certificates: AppoTech
Minimum Order: 2,500 pieces/ 1,600 pieces
Monthly Production: -
Delivery Time: -
Factory Size & Location: -
Workforce: -
Award: Technological Achievement Award

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