Micron plans to Acquire Intel’s stake in their IM Flash Joint Venture

Micron/Intel are ending their partnership in 3D XPOINT/Optane memory

Micron plans to Acquire Intel’s stake in their IM Flash Joint Venture

Earlier this year, Intel and Micron Jointly announced plans to dissolve their NAND technology joint partnership, starting a clock that would lead to their dissolution of their long-running IM (Intel Micron) Flash Technology partnership, which created innovative technologies like 3D XPoint memory. 

This end of this partnership will also cause both companies to take their NAND and Xpoint memory technologies in different directions, with Intel focusing on the PC and server markets while Micron takes a broader outlook which will see some of their focus on the growing mobile and automotive markets.   

After version 2.0 of their 3D XPoint technology is completed, both companies will take their R&D efforts in different directions, leaving little reason form both manufacturers to share manufacturing facilities, making the remainder of the IM Flash Technologies Joint Venture meaningless. It was only a matter of time before Micron attempts to acquire the venture’s remaining facilities. Micron is currently a majority owner of the IM Flash Joint Venture.

On January 1st, 2019, Micron plans to exercise their rights to purchase the remainder of the IM Flash venture, which is valued at $1.5 billion, while also taking on IM Flash member debts of approximately $1 billion. This move will dissolve Intel’s stake in the venture, and give Micron full control of its manufacturing facilities. 

It is expected to take around 6.12 months before the deal closes, with Micron planning to release 2nd Generation 3D XPoint-based products in late 2019, under the QuantX brand. After the deal closes, Micron will sell 3D XPoint wafers to Intel for up to a year after the deal closes. 

Micron plans to Acquire Intel's stake in their IM Flash Joint Venture  

This announcement was inevitable, as jointly owned manufacturing facilities are useless if Intel and Micron plan to develop products that are based on different technology, especially when said technology is not a result of a collaboration. Both Intel and Micron see their futures in different sections of the memory/flash market, which will no doubt lead to both companies differentiating their 3D XPoint memory technologies over the next few years. 

You can join the discussion on Micron’s plans to buy out Intel’s stake in their IM Flash Joint Venture on the OC3D Forums.