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Intel offloads NAND flash memory to SK Hynix for $9 billion

Carol Sliwa, SearchStorage, TechTarget 20 Oct 2020

Intel exits NAND flash business with $9 billion sale to rival SK Hynix to focus on faster Optane SSDs and memory modules, AI, 5G networking and edge computing.

"Intel's CEO has a financial background and to compete in a commodity market would require huge investments to increase scale," said Greg Wong, founder and principal analyst at Forward Insights. "From Intel's perspective, the ROI didn't justify continuing the NAND flash business, especially with seven players increasing process complexity and slowing long-term demand growth."

Wong said the addition of Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) into the NAND memory business would make it even more difficult for manufacturers to earn a healthy return..

"We'll have to see if SK Hynix can smoothly manage the integration and transition," Wong said.

Forward Insights' Wongadded, "If the uptake is underperforming expectations in the next two years, ROI decisions would have to be made."

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