Headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, Kingston is by far the world’s largest independent memory manufacturer. From its humble beginnings in 1987, Kingston has grown into a power house and just weeks ago Kingston reported revenues of $3.7B for 2006, marking the highest revenues attained in its 20-year history. With reported revenues of $3.7 billion in 2006, Kingston is without a doubt keeping their position as the largest independent memory manufacturer in the world.
Kingston has its global headquarters in Fountain Valley, California although they have four manufacturing locations: United State, Malaysia, China, and Taiwan. The four manufacturing plants provide jobs to more than 3,300 people worldwide! Kingston today manufactures memory at more than 40 Surface Mount Technology (SMT) lines that build more than eight million customized modules each month for servers, desktops, notebooks, workstations, printers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), hand-held PCs, graphic cards and digital cameras. Within these product categories, Kingston manufactures a full range of products, from OEM parts to their popular Value RAM series and the HyperX line that is aimed for those looking for the ultimate in memory performance.
Last month, while Legit Reviews was in Taiwan for Computex, Kingston invited LR to take a tour of their factory in Hsin-Chu and we thought that we would share our experiences with you!
The Kingston Taiwan manufacturing plant is about 80 kilometers southwest of Taipei, in an industrial technology park in Hsin-Chu, a city of about 350,000 people that is near Taiwan’s west coast.
Lying sandwiched between the mountains and the ocean, Hsin-Chu is just north of the tropic of Cancer and enjoys subtropical weather thanks to this location. The area right outside Hsin-Chu was a lush to say the least! It is hard to imagine that less than a couple thousand feet away from this lush green farming are is one of the largest manufacturing parks in Taiwan.
Inside the lobby of the Hsin-Chu manufacturing plant, one will find Kingston’s Far East Headquarters as well as four production levels where memory modules are being assembled. The Hsin-Chu manufacturing plant was opened in 1997, and has state-of-the-art Surface Mount Technology (SMT) lines that are used to make memory modules. Once the memory has been made, they go through quality control and are tests on Agilent (formerly HP) 83000 High-Speed Testers, Advantest T5581H Testing Units and proprietary software to make sure each module is of the highest quality.
After getting briefed about the building in the lobby, and getting prepared to enter the production floor we headed up the elevators to see the SMT lines.