SK Hynix Has Acquired Intel’s SSD and NAND Flash Division

Back in 2020, SK hynix signed a deal with Intel to take over its SSD and NAND business. This deal would allow SK Hynix to diversify their product portfolio and increase their market share. While Intel would now focus on their small but lucrative Optane memory to try and propel that tech forward. Therefore, this deal was a win-win for both parties and only one obstacle stood in between the acquisition.

That hurdle was the Chinese antitrust authority (China’s State Administration for Market Regulation) who needed to first investigate if this deal went against competitive laws and was monopolistic. The acquisition at hand was priced at $9 billion US dollars so it understandably took a long time to get cleared. However, SK hynix just published a press release stating that they’ve passed the inspections, completing the first part of the acquisition in the process.

A new beginning

Now, Intel’s SSD and NAND products are officially part of SK hynix as the company now owns that division. That being said, these products won’t be sold under the SK hynix name. A new company has been established under SK hynix that will sell Intel’s existing lineup of SSDs and develop all upcoming future products. The new entity will be branded “Solidigm”.

Solidigm already has a website which has Intel’s popular 660p and 670p SSDs up on there, with detailed specs and everything. SK hynix aims to make Solidigm a market-leader when it comes to storage solutions as it looks to serve both commercial and industrial applications. Solidigm currently does not have updates on any products coming soon.

Intel 660p on Solidigm’s website | Solidigm

SK hynix’s current co-CEO and president, Seok-hee will be appointed executive chairman of the new company. Whereas, Rob Crooke, former senior vice president of Intel will be appointed CEO of Solidigm. Solidigm will act as a wholly-owned subsidiary under SK Hynix and will be headquartered in San Jose, California, making it a U.S based subsidiary.

What the future holds

It’s important to mention that the deal isn’t fully closed yet. It will likely take a long time before Intel’s entire asset directory is integrated within Solidigm. That’s why Seok-hee will also lead the post-merger integration processes after the 1st closing. SK hynix, Solidigm, and Intel will co-operate going forward to successfully close the deal going forward. But, there’s one more thing.

As mentioned earlier, this was only phase one of the acquisition. There’s another phase that will see the remaining of Intel’s assets in relation to its SSD and NAND business become part of SK hynix/Solidigm. This includes “IP related to the manufacture and design of NAND flash wafers, R&D employees for NAND flash wafers, the Dalian facility workforce, and the other associated tangible/intangible assets”. The second phase will likely close in or after March 2025, when SK hynix will pay the remaining $2 billion dollars, fully completing the deal. Till then, Intel will retain some of the assets and keep manufacturing chips for SK hynix at their Dalian facility.

SK Hynix’s semiconductor plant in Icheon, South Korea | SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

This deal will seemingly make SK hynix a “1st tier technology company” and help make a paradigm shift for SK hynix when it comes to the NAND business, putting it up there with the global leaders. SK hynix already the largest manufacturers of storage-related solutions and one of the largest of flash memory in the world, so this acquisition will only help them go further in the ranks. It’s unclear how this deal will effect their scale as of yet, but considering a whole new brand has been formed for this, I think it’s safe to say SK hynix is about to level up.

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,. We are steadfast in our commitment to lead the data industry in a way that can truly fuel human advancement.

You can read the full press release here.

 

Huzaifa Haroon
Born and raised around computers, Huzaifa is an avid gamer and a keyboard enthusiast. When he's not solving the mysteries of technology, you can find him scrutinizing writers, striving to inform the curious.
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