Intel, SK Hynix Complete First Phase of NAND, SSD Deal

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Intel and SK Hynix announced that the Seoul-based chip manufacturer will pay Intel $7 billion following completion of the first phase of SK Hynix’s acquisition of Intel’s NAND and SSD business.

Intel and SK Hynix disclose the memory deal in October 2020, a $9 billion agreement in which SK Hynix would acquire Intel’s NAND SSD business along with the U.S. chipmaker’s NAND component and wafer operations along with its NAND memory manufacturing facility based in Dalian, China.

The deal would also transfer intellectual property related to the manufacture and design of NADN flash wafers, R&D employees and the Dalian fab workforce to SK Hynix.

The first phase of the agreement, finalized on Dec. 30, formally transferred Intel’s NAND and SSD business to SK Hynix. Intel, however, will retain IP related to its NAND flash wafers and continue manufacturing its NAND wafer at the Dalian fab until final closing, which is expected as early as March 2025.

At the time of closing, SK Hynix will pay Intel the remaining $2 billion of the original $9 billion agreement, at which point SK Hynix will officially acquire Intel’s remaining NAND business assets. Intel will retain its Optane 3D XPoint memory business following the final closing, according to the chipmaker.

SK Hynix plans to rebrand it’s newly acquired U.S.-based SSD subsidiary as Solidigm, which the company claims to represent a “commitment to creating a new solid-state paradigm that… revolutionizes the memory storage industry.”

Solidigm will be based in San Jose, Calif., and will be SK Hynix’s main hub for sales of its new SSD unit, product development and manufacturing.

Observers note the acquisition of Intel’s SSD business marks an end for the chipmaker’s foray into storage technology. Intel remains the sole developer of 3D Xpoint memory technology after Micron terminated production of 3D XPoint following its agreement to sell its fab in Lehi, Utah, to Texas Instruments.

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