Micron buys out Intel's stake in Optane-Fabbing alliance
Micron has exercised its right to buy Intel out of the venture IM Flash Technologies (IMFT) joint venture
The IM Flash Technologies (IMFT) joint venture (formerly called Intel-Micron Flash Technologies) is now officially dead, with Micron exercising its right to buy Intel out of the venture.
Although Micron announced intentions to buy out Intel’s share of the IM Flash Technologies joint venture last October, Intel was quick to point out that Micron wouldn’t be able to do that until January 1, 2019, as per the two companies’ contract.
Last month, Micron didn't waste any time in exercising its right to buy Intel out of the venture. Micron will have to pay $1.5bn for Intel’s non-controlling (49%) share, and the company said it will eliminate the $1bn member debt from its balance sheet.
Sanjay Mehrotra, president and CEO, Micron Technology, said the development and commercialisation of 3D XPoint, a non-volatile memory tech used in Intel Optane, will no longer be slowed by Intel. “The IM Flash acquisition will enable Micron to accelerate our R&D and optimise our manufacturing plan for 3D XPoint. The Utah-based facility provides us with the manufacturing flexibility and highly skilled talent to drive 3D XPoint development and innovation and to deliver on our emerging technology roadmap.”
In 2015, Intel and Micron announced the 3D XPoint technology, claiming the memory would be up to 1,000 times faster than flash.
The two companies created the IMFT joint venture, which has been developing this technology back since 2006. The joint venture has also been responsible for the two companies’ shared production of NAND SSDs.