Apple supplier SK Hynix announced earlier today that it will acquire Intel's NAND memory and storage business for US$9 billion. The transaction includes Intel's NAND SSD business, NAND component and wafer business, and Dalian NAND memory manufacturing facility in China.
Over the past decade, SK Hynix has been a key Apple supplier, providing the U.S. powerhouse with mobile memory semiconductors including DRAM and NAND flash chips. SK's memory semiconductors are a key component of iPhones.
SK Hynix said the deal is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of its NAND flash solutions and growing the memory ecosystem.
SK Hynix and Intel will endeavor to obtain required governmental approvals expected in late 2021. Following receipt of these approvals, SK Hynix will acquire from Intel the NAND SSD business (including NAND SSD-associated IP and employees), as well as the Dalian facility, with the first payment of US$7 billion.
As the global leader in the semiconductor industry, Intel possesses industry-leading NAND SSD technology and quadruple level cell (QLC) NAND flash products. For the first six months ended June 27, 2020, the NAND businesses represented approximately US$2.8 billion of the revenue for Intel`s Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG) and contributed approximately US $600 million to NSG operating income.
Bob Swan, Intel CEO: "I am proud of the NAND memory business we have built and believe this combination with SK Hynix will grow the memory ecosystem for the benefit of customers, partners and employees. For Intel, this transaction will allow us to further prioritize our investments in differentiated technology where we can play a bigger role in the success of our customers and deliver attractive returns to our stockholders."
CNN added to this story by noting that "SK Hynix will acquire Intel's NAND memory chip business, including associated manufacturing and design patents, as well as the US firm's factory in Dalian, China, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday. Intel's NAND flash memory products are used in devices such as smartphones, tablets and hard drives. The US company will keep Optane, its advanced memory chip technology business."
SK Hynix is listed on Apple's Supply Chain list and listed on Apple's 2020 "Supplier Clean Energy" list. A report from Korea Times back in July was titled "SK hynix, Apple to implement eco-friendly production line-up."