Intel has concluded the first phase of its NAND and SSD business sale, selling its SSD business (together with some NAND and SSD-related intellectual property (IP) and staff) and the Dalian NAND memory production plant in China to SK hynix of Seoul. SK Hynix will pay Intel $7 billion in consideration in return. The initial selling agreement was announced on October 19, 2020.
Until the deal is completed, Intel will continue to manufacture NAND wafers at SK hynix’s Dalian memory manufacturing plant and retain some IP relating to the fabrication and design of NAND flash wafers.
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A second phase of the transaction is expected to take place in or around March 2025, during which SK hynix will acquire Intel’s remaining assets, including IP related to the manufacture and design of NAND flash wafers, NAND flash wafer R&D employees, the Dalian fab workforce, and other tangible and intangible assets.
The remaining NAND business assets, including specific IP relating to the production and design of NAND flash wafers, R&D workers, and the Dalian fab workforce, are likely to be acquired from Intel for US$2 billion in March 2025 or later.
The SSD business will be transferred to Solidigm, a newly created SK hynix subsidiary. Robert (Rob) B. Crooke will be named CEO of Solidigm, a company whose name symbolizes a new paradigm in solid-state storage. Mr. Crooke served as senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group prior. Solidigm’s headquarters will be in San Jose, California. Solidigm counts close to 2,000 employees in 20 locations across the world.
After the first close, Lee Seok-hee, president and co-CEO of SK hynix, will be named executive chairman of Solidigm, and will supervise the post-merger integration activities. Solidigm will be led by Rob Crooke, a former senior vice president of Intel.
Intel expects to use the proceeds of the deal to produce leading products and promote its long-term growth goals, as previously stated.
Headquartered in Korea, SK Hynix is one of the world’s top tier semiconductor manufacturers, providing DRAM, Flash memory chips (NAND Flash), and CMOS Image Sensors (CIS) to a diverse variety of prestigious clients across the world.
“My heartfelt welcome to the Solidigm team members who are joining our family,” said Park Jung-ho, vice chairman and co-CEO of SK hynix. “This acquisition will present a paradigm shifting moment for SK hynix’s NAND flash business to enter the global top tier level. With this acquisition, SK hynix will be one step further in its path towards global 1st tier technology company.”
“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. “We are steadfast in our commitment to lead the data industry in a way that can truly fuel human advancement.”