In this paper we present initial test results of the Near Infrared Readout and Controller ASIC (NIRCA), designed for large area image sensors under contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Norwegian Space Center. The ASIC is designed to read out image sensors based on mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe, or MCT) operating down to 77 K. IDEAS has developed, designed and initiated testing of NIRCA with promising results, showing complete functionality of all ASIC sub-components. The ASIC generates programmable digital signals to clock out the contents of an image array and to amplify, digitize and transfer the resulting pixel charge. The digital signals can be programmed into the ASIC during run-time and allows for windowing and custom readout schemes. The clocked out voltages are amplified by programmable gain amplifiers and digitized by 12-bit, 3-Msps successive approximation register (SAR) analogue-to-digital converters (ADC). Digitized data is encoded using 8-bit to 10-bit encoding and transferred over LVDS to the readout system. The ASIC will give European researchers access to high spectral sensitivity, very low noise and radiation hardened readout electronics for astronomy and Earth observation missions operating at 77 K and room temperature. The versatility of the chip makes the architecture a possible candidate for other research areas, or defense or industrial applications that require analog and digital acquisition, voltage regulation, and digital signal generation.