Best known for its DDR memory modules that for its SSDs, SK Hynix, a South Korean semiconductor manufacturer, has just taken over a large part of Intel’s activity.
According to Bloomberg, against nine billion dollars (including seven paid by the end of 2021), the Korean offers the entire division in charge of manufacturing NAND modules (found in SSDs for example) from Intel.
Only the division that develops and designs Intel Optane modules are excluded from this sale, including the factories in charge of their manufacture. It is ” something very special “, According to the CEO of Intel, Bob Swan, who wants to keep it in his armada, probably because its versatility (it can serve as additional RAM and store data) allows it to constitute complete platforms for sale to its professional customers.
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The full integration of the activities acquired from Intel into SK Hynix is not scheduled for 2025 but the mergers should start soon.
Patents, processes and a factory
The transaction includes the divisions in charge of component development, but also the techniques and patents related to the manufacturing processes (wafers and flash) as well as the Intel plant located in Dalian, China.
For SK Hynix, it is an excellent way to consolidate a little more its position of second producer of components memories and NAND. Products widely used in our smartphones, our PCs but also in data centers. And demand is not likely to weaken, quite the contrary.
He will thus be able to fight against Kioxia (Toshiba Corp.) or even against Samsung, two giants of the NAND sector. Ultimately, these three entities could share more than 70% of the market share, according to analysts at Bloomberg.
For Intel, reselling this activity is part of its strategy which aims to refocus on its main know-how: the design of processors (computing and 3D) for PCs and network infrastructures, SoC design and Wi-Fi and 5G components (in partnership with Mediatek).
For several months, Intel has accused some delay in the engraving process. His competitor AMD (who no longer manufactures his chips himself) stands up to him and gets ahead of him. The sale of this division should allow it to allocate resources and funds to stay on course and pull out the canopy to get back into the race.