Intel Corp. has reached an agreement to sell the flash memory industry to SK Hynix Inc. of South Korea for about $ 9 billion, in a move that will redirect the semiconductor giant away from an area of historic significance that has become increasingly controversial.
The Intel unit makes NAND flash memory products that are mainly used in devices such as hard drives, thumbs and cameras. The American chip manufacturer has been weighing itself out of the business for quite some time, due to spoiled prices for flash memory.
Under the deal reported Monday by The Wall Street Journal, SK Hynix plans to buy most of Intel’s memory business, including related memory production operations in Dalian, China, according to a statement from the South Korean company. . Intel will maintain the Optane memory product line, an advanced type of storage widely used in data centers.
The deal will make SK Hynix one of the largest NAND memory manufacturers in the world. SK Hynix and Intel’s combined market share was over 20% in the second quarter, according to Taiwan-based research firm TrendForce, following only South Korean giant Samsung Electronics Co., which owned more than 30% of the company. market.
While Intel is best known for building central processing units at the heart of PCs, the company has deep roots in the memory business. Started as a memory maker in the late 1960s before stiff competition from Japan ‘s growing electronics industry in the 1980s led the company to change course.