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Kingston Technology Co. considers timing for solid-state flash drives

Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology, the leading producer of memory for computer and consumer devices, is preparing a line of flash memory drives.

By Kristen SchottPublished: June 16, 2008

Kingston doesn’t usually announce its aims for new markets and products – it normally begins production and waits until that market begins to make money. So, this information about Kingston dropped on a little-known technology-news Web site, blocksandfiles.com.

Kingston has been buying flash to make memory cards that work with computers, cameras and cell phones, as well as USB flash memory drives, for easy file sharing from computer to computer. Until now, it had not created solid-state drives (flash memory drives that work as a computer’s main source of stored files and programs). These drives are butting heads with standard disk drives among companies and people who want higher dependability and speed.

It is still unknown what types of drives Kingston will sell, because there is worry about slow buyer reception of flash drives. The main reason for this is flash is costly.

“There are a lot of factors that play into when we will enter it (the market) and with what products,” says spokesman David Leong. “The most important factor to consider right now is that we’ve seen solid-state drives that are highly expensive and do not justify the high price for the performance gains over hard drives.”

Whichever selling route Kingston chooses, the company’s product will compete with well-known flash memory merchandise producers, such as Milpitas-based SanDisk or Santa Ana-based STEC Inc.