While the demand for NAND flash memory explodes following the health crisis, SK Hynix has just positioned itself to acquire the dedicated activity of Intel. Which would allow him to tickle Samsung in this area.
SK Hynix always wants more to improve the competitiveness of its storage solutions and in specific of its enterprise SSDs. In the end, the South Korean initiator has just announced the accession of Intel's activities in the field of memories and NAND flash storage for 9 billion dollars.
The deal includes the activities of the US SSD chip giant NAND, the NAND elements and wafer business, and its NAND memory chip factory in Dalian, China. Although, Intel's Optane memory activity, which remains in Intel's bosom, will be prohibited. Note that the operation should be finalized by the end of next year.
If the deal is approved by South Korean and US authorities, SK Hynix would make an upfront payment of $ 7 billion to acquire Intel's NAND SSD business, which includes Dalian's intellectual property, employees, and facilities.
Highly coveted NAND memories
After the initial payment, SK Hynix would then obtain the remaining assets of the US foundry via a final payment of $ 2 billion, made in March 2025. Sometimes, Intel will continue to assemble wafers at its factory in Dalian and will retain its intellectual property until 'at final closure.
As a reminder, Intel's NAND activities contributed $ 600 million to operating profit and $ 2.8 billion in sales in the last six months of the US giant's current fiscal year. Its management has indicated that it plans to invest the proceeds from the agreement in various artificial intelligence, 5G, and intelligent and autonomous edge capabilities.
If the deal is approved, SK Hynix would become the world's second-largest manufacturer of NAND Flash after Samsung, the clear leader in an industry that has been the subject of much covetousness since the onset of the health crisis, which has led to an unprecedented increase in NAND flash memory application for PCs and servers. According to market research firm TrendForce, Samsung held 31.4% of the NAND flash memory market in the second quarter, followed by Kioxia (17.2%) and Western Digital (15.5%). SK Hynix was fourth with an 11.7% share and Intel sixth with 11.5%.