Mushkin Interview and Tour 2011Bosco -
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OCC-- In 2007 you stated you had an "in-house" product design team and everything was done here. Is that still the case?
Brian Flood-- For all of our DRAM memory it's still done in-house. For other products, some of it is split between us and manufacturing partners, but all testing specifications are crafted in Denver.
OCC-- Does all of your building still take place in Denver?
Brian Flood-- We contract out a majority of our products to third-party contractors globally, including the US.
OCC-- How many employees are currently working at Mushkin?
Brian Flood-- 50 employees worldwide, with most of the growth attributable to product development and sales staff.
OCC-- How many offices does Mushkin currently have?
Brian Flood-- Currently four offices worldwide. Two in the US, one in Malaysia and Germany.
OCC-- Any plans to branch to Canada?
Brian Flood-- No plans currently, but the chance of opening a branch there still exists.
OCC--What is the expected arrival date for DDR 4 for desktops?
Brian Flood-- I don’t think we’ll see DDR4 hit until late 2013 and the transition to mainstream will probably take some time after that. Luckily, DDR3 frequencies are set to scale faster and faster and platforms in the next couple years should not be bandwidth-starved.
OCC-- What new developments does Mushkin see beyond DDR4?
Brian Flood-- There is always a need to increase bandwidth and reduce power, so DRAM evolution will continue beyond DDR4.
OCC--Where do you see the memory capacity going for system builds? For example, current memory averages seem to be 4, 8, and 12GB. When do you see 4, 8 and 16GB, modules being more common?
Brian Flood-- We’re starting to see the swing to 4GB modules already in the DIY market. 256x8 is now the dominant DRAM density being produced for DDR3 and that has significantly driven down prices on 4GB modules, which has in turn greatly increased their popularity.
OCC-- Any plans to do extreme cooling for your memory modules?
Brian Flood-- Hammerhead - which is a liquid cooling solution, which is Copper based, which you saw at CES. We have taken a lot of time to get this right. We wanted to produce an optimal liquid cooling solution for cooling memory modules.
OCC-- Back when we interviewed you in 2007, you had just made the move into PSUs and now you have moved into SSDs. What have you learned over the last four years when it comes to PSUs?
Brian Flood-- The fairly stable market changed right after we entered. Now with Mushkin having a global reach, we have high expectations for our new PSU line we just launched.
OCC-- How do you feel about Mushkin's progress on manufacturing SSDs since you started?
Brian Flood-- Definitely a different market -- a very hot market in terms of activity. We expect to see rapid growth in the SSD market and that's why we jumped in when we did.
OCC-- What was your reason for wanting to move into SSDs?
Brian Flood-- The same as everything else we have done, diversity within our market. The DRAM memory market is very competitive, so expanding into other products like SSDs allows us to leverage our existing market share. We will continue to provide great products and support for our existing target customers.
OCC-- What's down the line for Mushkin - any new products you can tell us about?
Brian Flood-- Plenty of new products coming. A few items I can tell you about, is faster USB drives and us joining the SD/Micro SD market. You will see those within the next month or two. We will have fast class 10 SD cards for you to look at.
OCC--In 2007 we asked you the following: "Where do you see Mushkin in the next couple of years? Here was your response: I see us in a different location. Expanding more and pushing the limits, but still being known for quality. We're a trusted name with our recent growth, I see us bigger then we are now." Do you feel you have achieved that? If so, where do you see Mushkin in the next few years from this point?
Brian Flood-- We have definitely done that and we feel the same way still. We expect to continue to grow and we are moving to a bigger facility in the next few months to accommodate this. As new products and technology are released, we always look to see if it's something we are interested in. Above all we continue to reinforce our position as a trusted name in the market. There is nothing else as important.
OCC-- What are your current system specs?
Brian Flood-- I’m in need of a refresh, especially in the video card department, but here are the current specs for my home gaming machine: Rampage II Extreme BIOS 1903 i7-975 @ 4.4GHz HT-enabled Swiftech GTZ block with 3x120 Radiator; (Scythe S-Flex SFF21G Fans @ 1000-1900RPM) 24GB (6x4GB) Mushkin PC3-12800 7-8-7-24 1.65V Redline (2 x 999000 kits; soon to be released) 2xSapphire HD4870 in CF 2x240GB Callisto Deluxe SSDs in RAID 0 2x1.5TB Seagate 7200RPM drives in RAID 1 Mushkin Joule 1kW PSU (MKNPSJL1000) Coolermaster Cosmos case.