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PC components

Intel sells its NAND memory business to SK Hynix for a cool $9 billion

By Nadeem Sarwar October 20, 2020, 12:00 am
Intel SK Hynix

South Korean semiconductor giant and memory chipmaker SK Hynix has today announced that that it is acquiring Intel’s NAND business for a sum of $9 billion. The acquisition will give SK Hynix ownership of Intel’s NAND SSD business, the NAND component and wafer business, as well as the Dalian manufacturing facility in China. Intel, on the other hand, will retain the Optane business alongside the memory trademark and will continue to work on it. Both the companies will seek regulatory approval for the deal next year, following which the acquisition will take another four year years to complete in 2025

Intel will retain its Optane memory business

Once SK Hynix gets the approval, it will pay Intel an initial sum of $7 billion to acquire its NAND business, which includes the transfer of NAND SSD-associated intellectual properties and employees in that division, as well as the Dalian facility. The ownership of the remaining assets – which include IP related to manufacturing and designing of NAND flash wafers, R&D employees, and the Dalian facility’s entire workforce – will be transferred in 2025 subject to payment of the remaining $2 billion. 

The deal will see completion in 2025

This will also mark the deal’s completion. But until then, Intel will keep manufacturing NAND wafers at the Dalian facility, and will also retain all the NAND flash-associated design and production IPs. SK Hynix mentions in its press release that the deal will help sharpen the competitive edge of its storage solutions with a special focus on the domain of enterprise SSDs. The South Korean company aims to leverage Intel’s technology to strengthen its portfolio of 3D NAND solutions. 

Both companies are currently awaiting regulatory approval

“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.” Intel CEO Bob Swan was quoted as saying regarding the deal. “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,” said SK Hynix CEO Seok-Hee Lee about the acquisition. 

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