SK Hynix Inc., the South Korea-based global leader in a memory chip manufacturing, has reportedly acquired Intel Corporation’s NAND memory and storage business in a deal worth approximately USD 9 billion. Intel will use proceeds from the agreement to focus on 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and edge computing technologies.
Sources cite that this deal will turn SK Hynix into one of the world’s leading NAND memory manufacturers, second only to Samsung Electronics. The agreement with South Korean chip manufacture is the recent one Intel has made in order to double down on developing next-generation technology for 5G infrastructure. Last year, California-based Company also sold the majority of its modem business to Apple Inc. for around USD 1 billion in a bid to focus on 5G technology.
Speaking on which, Bob Swan, Chief Executive Officer at Intel said that this transaction would allow the company to further prioritize investments in a differentiated technology where the company play a pivotal role in the customers’ success and offer attractive returns to stockholders.
As per the terms and conditions of the deal, SK Hynix will acquire Intel’s NAND component, NAND SSD, and wafer businesses as well as the Dalian-based NAND facility in China. However, Intel will hold onto its speedy Optane SSDs business. The firms said regulatory approval is anticipated by late 2021, and the final closing of all assets will take place on March 25.
Until the final closing of all assets takes place, the American technology giant will continue manufacturing NAND wafers at the Dalian-based foundry and also retain all IP related to the design and manufacturing of its NAND flash wafers.
Dalian foundry is Intel’s only main foundry in China, which means selling it to SK Hynix will significantly decrease its presence in the nation as the Trump administration puts trade restrictions on Chinese technology.