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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [06.25.06] is back!
Import Video games, accessories, and consoles


The Journey Begins

If you've been noticing more reviews of ECS products (and getting quite good scores at the same time) you're not mistaken. After merging with PC Chips, ECS has recently started pushing into the retail market; prior to that, they have been one of the largest OEM manufacturers for more than a few brands.

ECS is eager to show their growth, so after Computex ended earlier this month, they took the opportunity to invite several websites to visit a couple of their factories in nearby China. The following is my account of the trip!

The flight from Taiwan to Hong Kong is usually a quick 90 minute trip. But as you can see on the flight tracker, it looks like our pilot got confused a few times! Actually, there was a massive monsoon going over the area that the time, so we had to delay our landing a bit. Eventually the storm caught up with us later that night when we were having dinner in Shen Zhen, and I'll tell you I haven't seen so much rain in my life. It looked like the skies were opened up, and it was literally nothing but water in the air.

Once we were safely on the ground in Hong Kong, it was time to hop on the SAMBA BUS~! to China. It's only about a 90 minute drive from the airport in Hong Kong to the ECSM factory in Shen Zhen. With the border crossings though, it takes about 3 hours, not including lineups.

Our first stop of the trip was actually the ECSM factory, where motherboards are finalized. But I'm going to start this article at the second factory we visited, the brand new GOLDEN ELITE factory that just opened late last year. ECS is able to manufacture their own PCB boards at this factory, and ship them off to the ECSM factory for final production (which was the first part of our tour, and the second part of this article).

The GOLDEN ELITE factory is only halfway finished - there is still plenty of room for expansion. Currently there are about 1000 employees working at the two factories that are running. By the end of the year, two more factories will be added, and they expect to add over 4000 employees. When they are finally running at full tilt by 2007, ECS says they will have 8000 employees working there. The most amazing thing is that all these employees will be living on-site in dormatories. The GOLDEN ELITE factory will indeed be bigger than the town I grew up in, which had a population of about 5000 when I lived there.

ECS can currently pump out about 800,000 motherboards a month. By the end of the year, this number will double, at 1.6 million a month. When GOLDEN ELITE is finally finished, they expect to be making over 2.5 million motherboards a month! Pretty soon every computer you buy is going to have an ECS motherboard in it!

Next Page: (Creating a PCB)