The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has given South Korean based SK Hynix final approval to acquire Intel’s NAND memory business for $9 billion. Earlier, the NAND maker received Federal Trade Commission’s approval last year.
What SK Hynix gets and what Intel retains
Intel can now give away its NAND business to SK Hynix. The NAND maker will use these assets to further expand its global footprint. This includes the NAND and wafer business, along with the company’s Dalian NAND memory manufacturing plant in China. Intel retained its Optane business which is also adopted in the Z590 chipset. We’ll just have to wait and see if future Intel Optane memory will be made by others.
It was only a few days ago Intel launched the 670p SSD, which most likely is going to be Intel’s last in-house made SSD unless they have some more models. There are still some approvals needed by considering it got two major approvals promptly, it looks like it would be a smooth transfer of ownership. One SK Hynix gets approval from the UK and China, it should become the largest NAND manufacturer in the world, followed by Samsung.
Intel would be using this capital to re-invest in the core company’s business. It is not as if Intel NAND was not doing well, atleast based on its retail performance. The chipmaking giant did enjoy the reputation of making some of the good/ best SSDs in the market. But it wasn’t good enough, and with intense competition from other SSD manufacturers and brands, it wasn’t earning enough profit. That’s what Intel Chief Financial officer and Vice President George Davis said according to Anandtech’s transcript.
At the same time, Intel is preparing to step into the discrete graphics card market with its Xe HPG series. Apart from the leaks there some vaguely made updates from Raja Koudari, the man behind Intel Xe.