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Going separate ways: Micron, Intel end 12 year NAND collaboration

The two companies plan to take their own routes in NAND technology after going separate ways.

By April Slattery

Intel has had a busy few days at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year with a slew of announcements, the latest to add to its list is its decision to part ways with Micron.

The two companies have mutually decided to go their separate ways after a twelve-year collaboration for NAND flash manufacturing and instead work independently on future developments of 3D NAND.

Intel and Micron’s partnership has covered memory technology and manufacturing for 3D NAND technology alongside the two companies working separately to develop SSDs based on the shared technology.

Both companies have benefitted from the partnership over the years as Micron has reaped the financial benefits and Intel has used the partnership to move away from just the processor market and differ Intel processors from the rest of the market competition.

Going separate ways: Micron, Intel end 12 year NAND collaboration

The two companies part to fulfil their separate aims.

Scott DeBoer, Micron’s EVP of technology development, said in a statement: “Micron’s partnership with Intel has been a long-standing collaboration, and we look forward to continuing to work with Intel on other projects as we each forge our own paths in future NAND development. Our roadmap for 3D NAND technology development is strong, and we intend to bring highly competitive products to market based on our industry-leading 3D NAND technology.”

The separation is somewhat unsurprising as the two companies have separately set up various manufacturing facilities over the last few years.

Apart from wanting to separately develop NAND technology in the future, the two companies have different aims and priorities for their NAND businesses. Intel aims to focus on using the NAND technology in their own SSDs as Micron follow the vendor path for SSDs and continue being a supplier of raw NAND flash.

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“Intel and Micron have had a long-term successful partnership that has benefited both companies, and we’ve reached a point in the NAND development partnership where it is the right time for the companies to pursue the markets we’re focused on,” said Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, Intel Corporation.

The separation of the two companies was announced as Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich delivered his keynote speech at CES 2018, with the separation expected to be finalised at the end of this year or early next year.


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