Headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, Kingston is by far the world's largest independent memory manufacturer. From its beginnings in 1987, Kingston has grown to a 27% market share in 2004 and almost $2.5 Billion in sales - which is more than 3 times larger than #2. Perhaps even more important was the 35% growth in revenue for Kingston from 2003 to 2004.

Kingston today manufactures memory at four manufacturing locations: US, Malaysia, China, and Taiwan. The four manufacturing plants have more than 35 Surface Mount Technology (SMT) lines for producing virtually every kind of memory available in the world. This includes the DIMMs, So-DIMMs, and flash memory that are of most interest in the Computer and Digital Imaging markets. Within these product categories, Kingston manufactures a full range of products, from OEM parts to their popular Value RAM series to Enthusiast-oriented Hyper X products.

Since we were in Taiwan for Computex, Kingston kindly invited AnandTech to take a closer look at their Taiwan manufacturing facility.

The Kingston Taiwan manufacturing plant is about an hour southwest of Taipei, in a huge technology park in Hsin-Chu, a city of about 350,000 near Taiwan's west coast. Hsin-Chu is the home to facilities for many familiar names in Computers and Technology.

The Hsin-Chu manufacturing plant was opened in 1997 and this is also the location of Kingston's Taiwan business offices.

Kingston Taiwan is a memory assembler, which means that finished memory chips are shipped to the plant where they assemble the memory using SMT technology. There are no wafer manufacturing capabilities in the Taiwan plant.

The Hsin-Chu plant has 4 floors of SMT lines producing DDR, DDR2, and flash memory during our plant visit.

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  • KTCSkins - Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - link

    Thank you for all the comments. Good to know what is happening out there. I won't try and defend our testing in another email. We do indeed test 100 percent of our products and from day one.
  • OCMAN - Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - link

    Found this on Kingston site http://www.kingston.com/company/videos/mfg/module.... to see production and testing on video. Vid shows machine testing, with that I think the 100% testing is believeable. You should have included this in the link Wesley
  • OCMAN - Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - link

  • Jbog - Monday, June 20, 2005 - link

    I do not think it has anything to do with logic. Unless it was specified on package that the ram does not work on Asus P4P800 board at CAS 2, they had no reason to refuse RMA. Sounds like they dropped the ball.

    Depending on when Kingston started testing 100% of their rams, this article may well be a PR campaign.
  • MrMuk7 - Saturday, June 18, 2005 - link

    They worked at slower speeds. Or at 400mhz with cas 2.5.

    The tech support said that they would only work at cas3 on my motherboard. The modules said they would work at cas2.

    Kingston refused the RMA since they said there could be no guarantee that they would work at rated speeds on a Asus P4P800 board. I really don't understand their logic, since Ive ran lots of different Cas2 memory on this board.
  • cryptonomicon - Saturday, June 18, 2005 - link

    i wonder what they use to test their ram. probably some proprietary testing program?
  • Zepper - Saturday, June 18, 2005 - link

    My recent experience with Kingston hasn't been too good either. Out of the 4 Kingston Value Ram modules I have personally had in my hands, one was DOA and another died in under six months. The other two seem to be working OK right now.

  • Eskimo - Friday, June 17, 2005 - link

    The author made two references in his article and one in the comments section regarding Kingston manufacturing wafers. To the best of my knowledge Kingston has no wafer manufacturing capability itself. They are an assembler who purchases the memory chips from Samsung, Micron, Infineon, Winbond and the other DRAM manufacturers.

    I think the article is a little misleading in that regard. The only link I can see between Kingston and wafer manufacturing is a $50 million investment they made in Elpida (formerly Hitachi and NEC semi operations)
  • Jbog - Friday, June 17, 2005 - link

    Do you remember exactly what model Hyper X memory you threw in your trash and when the throwing incident took place? Do you also remember when you bought them?

    "Bought 2x512MB Hyper X. It would not even work Cas2 at 400Mhz (rated speed),..."
    Did they work at any other speeds or did they not work at all?

    "They said it would only work at CAS3,"
    Was that what the tech support say or was that the specification that was specified on that particular Hyper X modules?

    "Anyways, since the stick wouldnt work I couldn't sell it so I just threw this crap memory in the trash. I am not lying. My roommate saw me."
    So Kingston refused RMA? If so, for what reason?

    And for KTCSkins, when did Kingston start testing 100% of all their memory modules?
  • Icehawk - Friday, June 17, 2005 - link

    It all depends on what you want to get out of it.

    Kingston is used by some big corporations for all their memory needs/upgrades - the quality of their regular RAM is quite good. I've encountered very few problems with Kingston RAM in OEM-type machines.

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