Earlier this week it was announced that SK Hynix, the world’s second largest memory chipmaker, would be buying out the whole of Intel’s NAND memory business, for 9 billion USD. However Intel will be holding on to their Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, keeping their Optane memory under their own development.
The deal will be a two part deal that will only be completed in 2025. The first part will take place next year and SK Hynix will pay $7 billion for Intel’s SSD business and their NAND fab in China, resulting in Intel’s consumer and enterprise SSD businesses transferred to SK Hynix, but not the employees that operate in the China fab.
After that, Intel will continue to use the Dalian fab in China for the following 4 years, until the deal is closed in March 2025, and then SK Hynix will pay the remaining $2 billion for the remainder of Intel’s NAND business. This will also transfer all of Intel’s related NAND employees including those at the Dalian fab.
This is a big deal for Intel, as the company originally started out making memory, however it is not unexpected. Intel’s NAND company has not been performing as well as they would like, with their Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group making a loss for 4 of the past 5 years. Intel hopes to use the sale to better the other technology that they are working on, Intel CEO Bob Swan said, “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,”