SSDs are trickling into the consumer market in notebooks and especially netbook computers. In the enterprise market, the benefits of a SSD are more apparent when used in high-demand environments.
Kingston and Intel have teamed up to market Intel SSDs to the computer industry according to Mobile Tech Today. Kingston is one of the leading makers of memory products for computers and its wares find their way into desktop and notebook systems from a variety of PC makers like Dell, HP and IBM among others.
Intel's SSDs showed up on a roadmap in August and launched a few weeks ago. The firm makes a pair of SSDs with one aimed at notebook computers and the other aimed at enterprise use in servers. Intel's SSDs have read speeds of up to 240MB per second and write speeds of up to 170MB per second. The enterprise series uses a standard 2.5-inch form factor and the consumer-oriented series uses a 1.8-inch form factor.
Traditionally, Kingston is trepid in entering new markets. A good example is the several years Kingston waited to enter the flash-based memory card market. The same market now accounts for a full quarter of Kingston's yearly sales. Kingston attributes its late entry and rapid growth in the memory card market to its broad range of partner firms it sells to.
The SSD market is far from mature and has a long way to go by most accounts before it reaches maturity. Kingston is getting into SSDs while the market is emerging, a big change for the firm. Kingston spokesman David Leong said, "[entering the SSD market] almost flies in the face of the usual Kingston model. This is one market where we believe it will grow quite a bit. The opportunity was there to jump into it right now with Intel."
Mobile Tech Today reports that Kingston and Intel have partnered together in a similar fashion before. The two firms worked together on a memory module that improved the reliability and performance of memory inside servers.
Under the partnership, Kingston will resell Intel SSDs to its partners including Dell and HP. It's not clear at this point if Kingston will be selling both the server and consumer versions of Intel's SSD or the server version alone. The market for consumer SSDs is still very soft and it's likely that Kingston will stick to the enterprise market at least in the beginning.
As SSDs become more popular in the consumer notebook market -- something not likely to happen until prices fall and storage capacities go up -- Kingston will be in a very good position to sell the consumer Intel SSDs for integration into notebook and netbook systems.
Kingston is a main rival to SanDisk in the flash storage and media market. SanDisk has been in the news recently as its falling stock price has made it the target of acquisition talks and rumors. SanDisk's board unanimously turned down a purchase offer form electronics giant Samsung. Interestingly, after SanDisk turned down Samsung, Intel was one of the names rumored to be interested in acquiring SanDisk. That rumor has yet to be confirmed.