HARDWARE

Intel is selling SSD Business to SK hynix as a new subsidiary of Solidigm


In a brief press release from Intel this afternoon, the chipmaking company announced that it had closed the first phase of its contract to sell its SSD business to SK hynix. As of today, SK hynix has now formally taken over most of Intel’s NAND and SSD business, as well as the company’s NAND plant in Dalian, China. Intel will continue to hold a small stake until 2025, and in the meantime, Intel’s former SSD assets have been spun off into a new SK hynix subsidiary, Solidigm.

The Intel-SK hynix contract was first announced in October 2020, with the two companies signing an agreement to transfer Intel’s NAND and SSD operations to SK hynix over a period of several years. Under the $ 9 billion contract, Intel will retain all of its Optane / 3D XPoint technology and patents, while SK Hynix will receive all of Intel’s NAND business, including the Dalian NAND plant and Intel’s SSD business interests.

Now, with the approval of the deal from all the necessary regulatory bodies, the two companies are able to conclude the first part of the deal. The “first shutdown”, as Intel says, transferred the factory in Dalian, as well as part of Intel’s SSD IP portfolio to SK hynix. Some employees are also relocated – essentially all those who do not work for the factory or are involved in research and development. In return, SK hynix paid Intel the first $ 7 billion from the contract.

The rest of the contract should be concluded in three and a half years from now, in or around March 2025. From now until then, Intel will continue to use the factory in Dalian to produce NAND wafer. To do this, Intel retained some of its NAND-related IPs, its R&D staff and fab employees. All of these assets will then finally be transferred to SK hynix when the deal is fully concluded and when SK hynix pays Intel the last $ 2 billion.

Finally, SK hynix takes over the Intel assets they have acquired so far and puts them in a new spin-off company, Solidigm. The independent subsidiary, whose name is apparently a game of “paradigm” and “solid state storage” has a store in San Jose, and is run by former vice president and general manager of Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, Rob Crooke. Solidigm in turn inherited Intel’s current NAND SSD product line; so Intel’s 660p and 670p client SSDs, as well as their D3 / D5 / D7 data center SSDs, are now in the process of becoming Solidigm products.



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Naveen Kumar

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