Kingston pushes enthusiasts to the very edge -

As Kingston Technology sells over $100 million in a year, it is preparing to head further into the enthusiast market with the introduction of its Sandforce SSD - the first time, Mark Leathem, VP corporate marketing tells us, it's going after the big guys.

Geeks are inheriting the earth, and the enthusiast market is really doing rather well for itself. "Once you get to 130 million dollars of DRAM sales for that market, which is worldwide, it's everywhere, that's what they want, the SSD," Leathem says.

The 25nm product will start shipping on the 4th July. Kingston says it wanted to release it a little earlier in June, but more of the Intel compute NAND was testing needed before it was ready.

Kingston says it will "ship out as many as it needs to," but that it expects strong demand. If there are any problems with product lines or components it'll "be a good one" Leathem says, because the demand will be high.

"We want to be aggressive. Put it like this, we've not been in the enthusiast market for a year, but had huge success with SSDs, because we have a big brand name and we're the largest on the DRAM side."

Next? "A NAND based product, a new usage for NAND. And it's another great example of a way to utilise NAND creatively.

"On the SSD side, we're going to be going toward M-SATA and embedded."

Here are the specs:

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Sequential speed**:
Sequential read 6Gb/s:  525MB/s
Sequential write 6Gb/s: 480MB/s
Sustained Random 4K Read/Write:
120 GB: 20,000 / 60,000 IOPS
240 GB: 40,000 / 60,000 IOPS
Max Random 4K Read/Write
120GB: 95,000 / 70,000 IOPS
240GB: 95,000 / 60,000 IOPS
Form factor: 2.5"
Interface: SATA 6Gb/s and 3Gb/s,
Guaranteed: three-year Kingston warranty, 24/7 tech support
Capacity1: 120GB, 240GB
Storage temperatures: -40°C ~ 85°C
Operating temperatures: 0°C ~ 70°C
Dimensions: 69.85mm x 100mm x 9.5mm
Vibration operating: 2.17G
Vibration non-operating: 20G
Operating shock: 1500G
Power specs:
120GB: 0.455 W (TYP) Idle / 1.6 W (TYP) Read / 2.0 W (TYP) Write
240GB: 0.455 W (TYP) Idle / 1.5 W (TYP) Read / 2.05 W(TYP) Write

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While we were there, we thought we'd take the opportunity to ask a question about the reported David Sun-advised anti-Samsung alliance in Taiwan.

First off, Leathem told us Kingston needs a strong semiconductor base to exist. "We have a multitude of semiconductor  partners. Hynix, Samsung, Intel, Micron, Toshiba, Elpida, all the way down to the DRAM guys.

"We don't produce NAND or DRAM at a fab level, so we live and breathe with our semiconductor relationships, and we buy from all of the above.

"In terms of David," Leathem continued, "linguistically I don't know what may or may not have been said. He's very passionate about the Taiwan DRAM market.

"It has been a hard time for the market and he just wants to do his best. It's not anything more than that."

* EyeSee Kingston also launched two products for Apple's iDevices, called the Wi-Drive. They're storage when you inevitably run out of space. The Wi-Drive connects to, for example, an iPad over Wi-Fi. Then you can add what you want. The app will be upgraded so eventually you can put stuff on your Wi Drive and send it over to the iPad. An Android version will be available in the future.