Intel sells NAND business and China fab for $9bn

October 22, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Intel sells NAND memory business to SK Hynix
Intel is to sell its NAND memory and SSD storage business unit, including a wafer fab in Dalian, China, for US$9bnn to boost its AI research.

The sale includes the solid-state disk (SSD) business, NAND component and NAND wafer business, but Intel will retain its Optane business based around the 3D Xpoint chalcogenide phase-change memory.

The deal is dependent on government approvals which the two companies said they expect to receive in late 2021. The deal follows SK Hynix buying MagnaChip's foundry business earlier this year.

The deal starts with a payment of US$7bn by SK Hynix where it will receive NAND-SSD intellectual property and employees as well as the Dalian facility. The remaining assets including flash wafer IP, the Dalian workforce and R&D employees will transfer upon a final closing and payment of the remaining US$2bn, which is not expected until March 2025.

Under this staged agreement Intel will continue to manufacture the memory wafers at Dalian and retain its IP until the final closing. SK benefits from economies of scale in the flash memory business. In the first six months of 2020 the businesses generated US$2.8bn.

Intel said it would use the proceeds of the sale to invest in long-term growth priorities, including artificial intelligence, 5G networking and the intelligent, autonomous edge.

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