SK Hynix buying memory biz of Intel

Date: 24/10/2020
Intel is getting away from its memory business by selling it to SK Hynix for US$ 9 billion, but keeps it's optane persistence memory with it.

SK Hynix to acquire Intel' NAND memory and storage business covering NAND SSD business, the NAND component and wafer business, and the memory semiconductor fab at Dalian in China.

Intel said it will continue to manufacture NAND wafers at the Dalian Memory Manufacturing Facility and retain all IP related to the manufacture and design of NAND flash wafers until the final closing.

With this acquisition, SK Hynix is expected to become 2nd or 3rd biggest vendor in the NAND Flash memory business by increasing its share close to 20% of the world market. SK Hynix developed the world’s first Charge Trap Flash (CTF)-based, 96-layer 4D NAND flash in 2018 and 128-layer 4D NAND flash in 2019.

Intel discloses NAND businesses represented approximately US $2.8 billion of the revenue for Intel’s Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG) and contributed approximately US $600 million to NSG operating income.

For Intel the long-term growth priorities now includes artificial intelligence, 5G networking and the intelligent, autonomous edge, and Intel plans to invest more in this.

“I am pleased to see SK hynix and Intel’s NAND division, which have led the NAND flash technology innovation, work to build the new future together,” said Seok-Hee Lee, chief executive officer (CEO) of SK hynix. “By taking each other’s strengths and technologies, SK hynix will proactively respond to various needs from customers and optimize our business structure, expanding our innovative portfolio in the NAND flash market segment, which will be comparable with what we achieved in DRAM.”

Bob Swan, Intel CEO said: “I am proud of the NAND memory business we have built and believe this combination with SK hynix will grow the memory ecosystem for the benefit of customers, partners and employees. For Intel, this transaction will allow us to further prioritize our investments in differentiated technology where we can play a bigger role in the success of our customers and deliver attractive returns to our stockholders.”

Intel reported its third-quarter 2020 revenue of $18.3 billion and was above July expectations, down by 4% year-over-year. Intel's PC-centric business (CCG) grew by 1% YoY in 3Q 2020 due to increase sales of notebooks and other personal computer systems during Kovid crisis, where users are forced to use online learning and work from home options. However there was no growth in its memory business in the third quarter of 2020.

Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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