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Leadership / Digital Transformation

Micron Acquires Intel Share in IM Flash, Inherits Manufacturing Lab In Utah

Idaho-based Micron Technology is exercising its call to buy out Intel’s stake in their joint memory development venture IM Flash Technologies for $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion).

In 2005 Micron Technology and Intel Corporation announced that they would be working together to form a new company that would develop and manufacture NAND flash memory, thus IM Flash Technologies was created.

With a manufacturing site in Lehi, Utah, IM Flash Technologies began R&D on a new form of non-volatile memory.

IM Flash developed NAND and 3D XPoint memory which was used in devices developed by both companies.

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Intel used 3D XPoint technology in their Optane SSD 900P Series for workstations and desktop PC’s, while Micron used the memory tech in their Quantx series.

3D XPoint uses new techniques in non-volatile phase-changing memory.

The tech works by utilising a unique property of glass when it contains chalcogens such as sulphur or tellurium. It can be manipulated by a current to change states; a phenomena which is then used to record memory.

IM Flash Technology Manufacturing

Sanjay Mehrotra Micron CEO commented in a statement released Monday: “The IM Flash acquisition will enable Micron to accelerate our R&D and optimize 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.”

Since 2016 Micron’s stock had been steadily climbing reaching highs of $60 during the summer of 2018. However global economic uncertainty and a decline in the purchase of computer chips and memory technologies saw its stock drop to $30 last month.

The company has reported revenue of $7.91 billion (£6.1) for the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year, an increase of 16 percent year-on-year

It also reported an operating cash flow of $4.81 billion (£3.7) compared with $3.64 billion (£2.7) for the same period last year.

CEO Sanjay Mehrota commented to investors that: “Despite weak near-term industry supply-demand dynamics entering calendar 2019, Micron is well-positioned to deliver healthy profitability throughout the year. We remain bullish on the long-term secular growth trends driving the memory and storage industry.”

The £1.1 billion buyout of IM Flash Technology will be completed once Intel selects a date to close on the transaction, which they can do on any day in the next six to 12 months. Once Micron buy out Intel’s share in IM Flash Technology they will control the manufacturing plant in Lehi, Utah.

Computer Business Review has asked Intel where it now plans to source its XPoint wafers. Recently we reported that Intel is preparing to expand its manufacturing network in Europe, Israel and the United States with a $1 billion investment. However then the company stated that these facilities would feed their demand for nanometre technology, notably their 14nm and future 7nm products.
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CBR Staff Writer

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