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【Exclusive Interview】Kingspec:Do What We Can Do, and Do it the Best

Published Jan.11 2010,15:09 PM (GMT+8)

DRAMeXchange:KingSpec Electronics Technology is committed to the research and development, production and sales of SSD products. Can you tell us about your strengths and specialties in the SSD field?

Mr. Shen:As SSD is a relatively new field, and it may take some time for its positioning to be clearly defined. Therefore, I’m afraid it is too early to discuss the strengths and specialties of a particular supplier. As a matter of fact, all SSD suppliers, including KingSpec, have undertaken the responsibility to promote growth in the market. Personally, I believe a company’s background and its level of expertise in SSD products are more important at this stage.

KingSpec’s strength lies in its pursuit of high product quality. Kingspec has been engaged in developing, producing and selling flash-related storage devices since its establishment. In 2008, KingSpec joined SSDA (Solid State Drive Association) for two main reasons: one, to learn about cutting-edge technologies as early as possible; and two, to master related testing methods and techniques published by SSDA. To ensure high product quality, we have established a comprehensive control flow from the demand analysis, feasibility analysis, electronic and structure design, sample and batch tests, material control before production, and processing control. Furthermore, all KingSpec products have obtained international certifications like CE, FCC and RoHS, ready for industrial application or some special application.

SSD can be applied in many applications, and product types. We pay careful attention to every KingSpec product, and we work hard to offer the most comprehensive product line. At KingSpec, we always stick to the guideline: do what we can and do it the best, in other words, professionalism and expertise in the SSD field.


DRAMeXchange:Currently, most of SSD products are sold abroad, what about the sales performance of KingSpec’s SSD in China? How do you plan to build up solid distribution channels during a short period?

Mr. Shen: KingSpec launched its first brand of SSD hard disk in 2008 without targeting a specific market segment. At this stage, however, both overseas and domestic sales are of equal importance to us strategically.

In terms of the application type, SSD products are mainly divided into commercial applications and industrial applications. From the market perspective, there is a slight difference between their sales strategies – channels are the emphasis of its commercial applications while the emphasis of the industrial applications is the individual trade.

We focus on our brand strategy, emphasizing channel establishment. In China, our distributors virtually cover the whole country, and have set up several KingSpec SSD image shops (physical stores) in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. In addition, industry applications pose real challenges to the SSD quality. There are no shortcuts to success except with higher quality.


DRAMeXchange: Can you talk about your global market strategy? Which regions are more important, and what proportion do they account for?

Mr. Shen: Global shipment of SSD is influenced by many factors, which also directly influence the pattern of the global market and the strategy of each SSD manufacturer. However, SSD is still a novelty, so each maker has its own product positioning and market positioning. As we are committed to SSD products with our own research and development, we will certainly provide a turnkey solution. We have been developing products from the commercial applications to the industrial applications, from standardized products to customized products. In this sense, our products are suitably designed for the global market.

However, for electronic products, most manufacturers believe in starting domestically, and then expanding globally, by demonstrating the degree of maturity and recognition of the product. I believe that China is becoming the key global manufacturing base, and there will be intense SSD competition in China.

Naturally, in the market analysis, there is strong demand from Europe and the USA, accounting for over 80% of our oversea sales.


DRAMeXchange: Will KingSpec unveil new products soon? What are your plans to offer a comprehensive product lines?

Mr. Shen:Before 2009, our products are targeted for individuals, which limit their application. From 2010 onward, our product plan will place emphasis on high-performance SSDs, and we will deliver a series of brand new enterprise level SSDs, and other special application SSDs. At the beginning of 2010, we expect to debut a product with writing speed of over 200MB/sec based on existing SATA II, IDE interface SSD, and then extend to the technological applications of SATA III, conventional SCSI, SAS, PCI, FCAL, RAID interface.

In practice, we have been focusing on product planning. Our clients will find the KingSpec products, standard and customized, that meet their needs. Apart from the variety of customized products, there are over 20 types of mass produced products. So to speak, KingSpec has most diverse and comprehensive product line among SSD suppliers.


DRAMeXchange: What hurdles or bottlenecks do you have to overcome in the development and popularization of SSD?

Mr. Shen:Storage products are divided into online storage, partial-online storage and off-line storage. Current SSDs focus on online storage, which have remarkably high performance and adaptability in different environments. Compared to conventional HDDs, SSDs require the support of peripheral hardware and software to enhance its reliability and stability.

Personally, I believe that following factors are crucial in the development of SSD: first, reliability and stability, which depends on two aspects, A) storage media, and B) MCU and MCU Firmware technology; second, the SSD price, which is determined by the Flash price; third, the support of the OS (operation system) and the development of its bundled applications, the optimization of the OS, the enhancement of reliability, safety and other performances will create a good environment for expanding SSD applications.


DRAMeXchange:How has the global financial crisis impacted KingSpec’s operations in 2009?

Mr. Shen: So far, there are not many SSD applications in the global market so we are not heavily influenced by the global financial crisis. The year 2009 is a year of steady development for KingSpec.


DRAMeXchange: Can you talk about the SSD market and KingSpec’s development strategy in 2010?

Mr. Shen: In my own opinion, unlike 2009, the SSD market will develop rapidly. There are several noteworthy aspects –first, the increasing recognition of SSD in applications will boost market demand for SSD; second, enhanced SSD controllers will greatly improve the reliability and stability of SSDs; as end users become more confident about the product, they will naturally be more inclined to purchase the product. Therefore, there are great development opportunities for SSD makers, as well as for R&D firms of SSD controller. Third, the enhancement of OS support, for example, SSD support from Windows 7. Last, the Flash price will definitely fall, lowering SSD cost, thereby increasing comsumer’s purchase desire.

For KingSpec, the year 2010 is full of opportunities and challenges. We will strengthen our competitiveness in the following aspects:
1. Improvements in internal operations: we will strictly control the quality from R&D to production in order to enhance the market position and competitiveness of KingSpec SSDs.
2. Comprehensive SSD product line: we will introduce high performance products, increase interface types, and offer enterprise class application.
3. Customized products: based on KingSpec’s patented products (currently SSDs with write protect switch), we will endeavor to provide customized products to our clients.
4. SSD related and augmented products: we will cooperate with SSD-related software companies to deliver our own brand of SSD-related software, including quick system installation, data recovery and backup, data security and protection, and SSD maintenance and performance improvement software.

In 2010, SSD will garner more attention in the industry, and more firms will be investing in the SSD market, which will likely lead to inconsistent SSD quality in the market. Yet, we believe that through the elimination of inferior products, companies that succeed in the end are ones that focus on enhancing product quality. We will seize every opportunity to succeed.