Kingston Technology cuts a regal figure in the realm of memory.
The company is one of the top makers of memory modules --
printed circuit boards loaded with DRAM or other memory chips
that increase the capacity and speed of printers and computers.
Kingston also makes flash memory cards used in portable electronic
devices, such as digital cameras, MP3 players, and wireless phones.
Kingston takes on some manufacturing chores for customers
through sister company Payton Technology, which runs a specialized
factory in China that tests and packages memory chips before
assembling them into customized memory modules. Founders John Tu
(president) and David Sun (COO) own Kingston Technology.
Kingston has manufacturing operations in China, Taiwan, and the
US. It has additional offices in Australia, France, Germany,
India, New Zealand, the UK, and Vietnam. To address growing
demand in Europe and the Middle East, the company added a turnkey
logistics hub in Dublin, Ireland, and established its Asian
headquarters in Taiwan.
Sales and Marketing
Kingston is known for its friendliness to business partners. It
is sometimes the first to receive scarce components during
shortages, thanks to the good relations it enjoys with its
The memory device market is notoriously volatile, with swings in
prices, global supply, and demand. The company has benefited
from strong demand from business customers and consumers, as well
as its line of SSDs. Trends such as virtualization and cloud
computing are driving the switch to SSDs, which tend to be faster
and more energy efficient, durable, and reliable than
traditional hard disk drives.
Kingston also commands a large share of the
global market for DRAM modules.
Founders and owners Tu and Sun promote a casual atmosphere and
treat employees as members of an extended family. (Their work
cubicles are identical to their employees'.) Since 1996 they have
given more than $100 million in bonuses to workers; in some cases
the bonuses amounted to three times the employees' annual
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