Kingston, or Kingston Technology Corporation, is a private multinational company in the United States. The company specializes in computer technology, specifically in the development, manufacturing, and sales of flash memory products. They also work with other types of computer memory products. Their current headquarters are in Fountain Valley, California. The company has facilities around the world including in the United States, Ireland, Taiwan, China, and the United Kingdom. They currently employ more than 4,000 people around the world.
The company is one of the top memory module manufacturers and test companies in the world. They also happen to fall into the top 100 of the 500 Largest Private Companies in the U.S. from Forbes.
Kingston started in 1987. The founders saw that the tech world of the 80s was suffering from a shortage of memory chips, and they wanted to help remedy that problem. The founders, John Tu and David Shen, were engineers and they set to work designing a SIMM, or single in-line memory module. This was the sole product they created for the first couple of years of their business.
By 1989, they had added 100 percent testing to their products, which was something their competitors were not doing. The fact that they had such good quality control helped to give them a great reputation in the business, and it helped to make them leaders in the field. In the 1990s, they expanded their territory and began to offer services in Europe. They opened a branch in Munich, Germany that was able to offer support for distributors and customers in Europe.
In 1996, a company in Japan, Softbank Corporation, acquired a substantial portion of Kingston - 80% of the company - for $1.8 billion. Softbank owned their portion of the company until 1999 when the founders bought it back.
In the 2000s, they opened a company called Advanced Validation Labs, Inc., which offered services for memory validation. They also created a Consumer Markets Division in 2001. This division would focus on both offline and online sales.
The company continued to create new products, as well, and in 2002, they announced a new memory tester as well as a new line of memory modules called HyperX. They also launched their EPOC chip stacking technology. Throughout the 2000s, they continued to add new types of products and lines to their business, and they kept increasing their annual revenues through most of the first decade. They have consistently ranked as one of the top private companies in the country, as well.
One of their most impressive recent releases is the DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0, which was the fastest and largest USB 3.0 flash drive in the world. One of their new lines is for storage items that will work wirelessly and specifically with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They have expanded to make products specifically for the gaming market as well. One of their recent lines is FURY, which offers memory for gamers at an entry level price point.
Products for the Consumer Market
While the company works with many larger computer makers and businesses, they also have a massive line of products suited for the regular consumer market. They make a range of different types of items in the field of memory. They offer memory modules in many varieties, configurations, and sizes, SD cards and micro SD cards, as well as an array of USB flash drives.
The company has been able to build up the same quality reputation among consumers that they built with tech companies in their early days. People know and trust the Kingston brand, and the logo is easily recognizable.
Overall, the company has had a good relationship with their customers, and part of that is because they deliver quality products. They've won awards for being a top company, a top supplier from Intel, the Diverse Supplier Award from Dell, and many more. One of the awards that tell the most about the company is the Excellence in Fairness award from the Great Place to Work Institute.
When it comes to finding memory, particularly the portable flash memory drives, Kingston is one of the top brands in the business, and one that many customers gravitate toward based on the name and the reputation of the company alone.