One of Main Street’s most unusual tenants in Concord, a company that designs and builds high-end computer boards in offices above and below Gibson’s Bookstore, has been purchased by Molex, a much larger electronics firm based in Illinois.
Company officials with Molex and BittWare declined to provide many details about the purchase, which was announced May 14, although it appears BittWare will remain in Concord for at least the immediate future.
A statement from Molex said BittWare was an attractive purchase because of its expertise with field-programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs, which are a type of specialty computer board that can cost more than $10,000 apiece. They are designed to help customers speed up computer processes when handling huge amounts of data very quickly, such as in data centers, military or aerospace applications, in finance or when dealing with broadcast video.
“Among the foremost FPGA computing platform developers, BittWare brings an impressive breadth of board-level computing technologies, integrated systems and software expertise,” Tim Ruff, senior vice president of Molex, said in a prepared statement.
BittWare, founded in 1989, has about 40 employees and in 2016 told the Monitor it had annual sales in the $25 million range. Molex, founded in 1938, has about 36,000 employees and 2016 revenues of $3.6 billion. It is owned by Koch Industries, which purchased it in 2013.
Darren Taylor, vice president of marketing and sales, told the Monitor in 2016 that Bittman, with some knowledge of New England, basically headed north until he was happy. “The joke is: ‘I had to get past the second tolls, because then I’m in the real New Hampshire,’ ” Taylor said at the time.
The company has moved three times but stayed on Main Street because being downtown is a lure to high-tech employees, officials said.
Bittware occupied the 11,900-square-foot bottom floor of the Love Building when developer Steve Duprey renovated the former book bindery building and was looking for a tenant who wouldn’t mind a shortage of windows in the space, which due to the slope of the land is mostly below ground. They have expanded to another 3,000 square feet on the building’s second floor.
“As a Molex subsidiary, now working with Nallatech, I believe we will have the critical mass to bring new resources, better processes, and economies of scale,” said Jeff Milrod, president and CEO of BittWare, in a prepared statement.
Nallatech is a California subsidiary of Molex that also develops FPGAs.