‘SK Hynix’ Bought Intel’s NAND Division for $9 Billion

By Bill Toulas / October 20, 2020

Intel has reached an agreement with ‘SK Hynix’ on the sale of its NAND flash memory and storage business for $9 billion. As the South Korean announced via a press release today, the deal will go through in March 2025, but all of the practical and economic details have already been agreed upon.

The transaction includes the NAND SSD business, the NAND component and wafer business, and also the Dalian NAND memory manufacturing facility in China. The only thing that Intel will keep is the Optane business, which will now receive greater investment focus by the tech giant.

SK Hynix aims to enhance the competitiveness of its own NAND flash solutions and grow the associated ecosystem even further. The NAND market is growing rapidly right now, especially in what has to do with enterprise SSDs. Intel’s products are characterized by quality and recognition, so for the South Koreans, this deal brings many benefits for its customers, partnerships, employees - and the shareholders, of course.

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, so we’re talking about a company that looks to invest in an already well-established and successful player in the field. Intel’s tech and manufacturing output potential will solve various practical issues for SK Hynix. It could also open up new collaboration channels for the two firms.

Related: Intel Tells Investors 7nm Will Have to Be Pushed Back at Least One Year

For all of the above to happen, the applicable governmental approvals will have to be attained, which will take place by next year. Thus, some complications may be introduced along the way, but the deal is not expected to fall through. In the meantime, the two companies will work together for the development of a plan that will ensure a smooth transition.

According to rumors from the industry, Intel was in talks with ‘Tsinghua Unigroup’ about this deal but abandoned the idea when the US-China trade war made it clear that the prospects of getting the regulatory approvals would be non-existent. Thus, they had to find a non-Chinese firm for this sale, and SK Hynix was a good candidate for it. The two collaborated recently for the development of DDR5, so they already had good relations on which to build the negotiations.

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