Intel Sells SSD Business And Dalian Fab To SK Hynix, Here's What Will Happen Next
A deal that has been over a year in the making between Intel and SK Hynix has been consummated, at least for the initial portion. That being the first closing of the sale of Intel's NAND flash memory and solid state drive (SSD) business to SK Hynix for $7 billion, the companies announced. The deal was first announced in October 2020.
As part of the transaction, SK Hynix acquires certain NAND SSD-associated intellectual property (IP) from Intel and some its employees, though neither side said exactly how many workers are being transferred. In addition, SK Hynix takes possession of Intel's Dalian NAND memory manufacturing facility n China as part of the deal.
This is a sort of staggered transaction, though, with other parts of the deal to be completed at later dates. Intel says the final closing is expected to occur no earlier than March 2025, at which time SK Hynix will fork out around another $2 billion for the rest of Intel's NAND business assets, bringing to the total value to $9 billion.
That final part of the transaction will include certain IP related to Intel's NAND flash wafer design and manufacturing. as well as R&D employees and the complete Dalian fab workforce. Until the deal is fully complete, however, Intel will continue to make NAND wafers at SK Hynix's Dalian memory manufacturing facility, and also retail unspecified IP related to the design and manufacture of NAND wafers.
SK Hynix is also creating a new Solidigm subsidiary to carry on the SSD business it just acquired.
"Solidigm is poised to be the world’s next big semiconductor company, which presents an unprecedented opportunity to reinvent the data memory and storage industry," said Rob Crooke, former senior VP of Intel who will be appointed CEO of Solidigm. "We are steadfast in our commitment to lead the data industry in a way that can truly fuel human advancement."
Once the final payment is made in a few years, Intel will stop producing NAND flash memory, and will likely wind things down in the mean time. When the deal was announced in 2020, then-CEO Bob Swan said the transaction will allow the company to "further prioritize investments in differentiated technology" where Intel can have a bigger impact.