Intel and Micron break up NAND partnership

Both companies have decided that the time is right to work independently on future generations of 3D NAND.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Intel SSD DC P4600 Series features 3D NAND

Intel SSD DC P4600 Series features 3D NAND

Intel and Micron have decided that it's time for the companies to go their separate ways with respect to future 3D NAND development.

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The announcement came ahead of a keynote address at CES in Las Vegas by Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich.

Intel and Micron have had a 12-year collaboration with regard to NAND development, with Intel funding a portion of the development costs and Micron benefitting from NAND sales. Intel has used this partnership to both diversify away from the processor market, and differentiate Intel processors from the competition.

However, both companies will continue to collaborate to complete development of the third-generation of 3D NAND technology, which will be delivered toward the end of this year, and it will also continue to jointly develop and manufacture 3D XPoint at the Intel-Micron Flash Technologies (IMFT) joint venture manufacturing facility in Utah.

"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," said Scott DeBoer, executive vice president of Technology Development, Micron. "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."

"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. "Our roadmap of 3D NAND and Optane™ technology provides our customers with powerful solutions for many of today's computing and storage needs."

This split is not a huge surprise to anyone watching the industry, as both Intel and Micron have established separate manufacturing facilities in recent years, and Intel went cold on Micron over 16-nanometer planar NAND node and decided not to invest in that technology.

Intel and Micron have also been focused on different areas of the NAND market. While Intel has concentrated on their own SSDs, Micron supplies SSDs and NAND chips.

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