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posted by martyb on Friday July 02, @07:36AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the crossed-off dept.

Micron Sells Lehi 3D XPoint Fab to Texas Instruments for $900M

Back in March of this year, Micron announced that it would be getting out of the 3D XPoint business entirely, abandoning the technology and putting its sole 3D XPoint fab up for sale. Now a short few months later, Micron has secured a buyer for the fab – and it's not Intel. Rather it will be Texas Instruments who picks up the fab, buying it off of Micron for $900 million with plans to convert it over to analog and embedded processors.

The sale of the Lehi fab is the latest and final chapter in Micron's years-long efforts to unwind its non-volatile memory joint venture with Intel, IM Flash. Over the last decade Micron has acquired Intel's share of the business in multiple stages, culminating in acquiring the crown jewel of the former partnership, the Lehi, Utah 3D XPoint fab, in 2018. Since then, Micron decided that it would dissolve its 3D XPoint partnership with Intel entirely, culminating with the company abandoning the technology entirely, leaving Micron with a modern fab that it didn't have an immediate need for.

Previously: Micron Abandons 3D XPoint, Puts Fab Up for Sale


Original Submission

Related Stories

Analyst Predicts 3D XPoint Shipments Could Surpass DRAM (in Capacity) by 2028 7 comments

XPoint capacity to surpass DRAM by 2030

We have just learned about a report by Coughlin Associates and Objective Analysis called Emerging Memories Take Off, courtesy of Tom Coughlin. The report looks at 3D XPoint, MRAM, ReRAM and other emerging memory technologies and says their revenues could grow to $44 billion by 2031. That's because they will displace some server DRAM, and also NOR flash and SRAM — either as standalone chips or as embedded memory within ASICs and microcontrollers.

The emerging memory market is set to grow substantially with 3D XPoint revenues reaching $20 billion-plus by 2031, and standalone MRAM and STT-RAM reaching $1.7 billion in revenues by then. The report predicts that the bulk of embedded NOR and SRAM in SoCs will be replaced by embedded ReRAM and MRAM.

A chart shows XPoint capacity ships crossing the 100,000PB level in 2028 and so surpassing DRAM, whose capacity growth is slowing slightly. The chart shows XPoint capacity shipped being 1000PB this year. That number will grow 100x to 100,000PB in 2028.

Related: Micron Abandons 3D XPoint, Puts Fab Up for Sale
Micron Sells 3D XPoint Fab to Texas Instruments, Not Intel


Original Submission

Micron Abandons 3D XPoint, Puts Fab Up for Sale

Micron Abandons 3D XPoint Memory Technology

In a sudden but perhaps not too surprising announcement, Micron has stated that they are ceasing all R&D of 3D XPoint memory technology. Intel and Micron co-developed 3D XPoint memory, revealed in 2015 as a non-volatile memory technology with higher performance and endurance than NAND flash memory.

Intel has been responsible for almost all of the commercial volume of 3D XPoint-based products, under their Optane brand for both NVMe SSDs and persistent memory modules in the DIMM form factor. Micron in 2016 announced their QuantX brand for 3D XPoint products, but never shipped anything under that brand. Their first and only real product based on 3D XPoint was the X100 high-end enterprise SSD which saw very limited release to close partners. Micron has now decided that further work to commercialize 3D XPoint memory isn't worth the investment.

[...] Micron is now putting that 3D XPoint fab up for sale, and is currently engaged in discussions with several potential buyers. Intel is the most obvious potential buyer, having recently begun the long process of selling their NAND flash and flash-based SSD business to SK hynix while keeping their Optane products. Intel has already moved their 3D XPoint R&D to Rio Rancho, NM but has not built up any 3D XPoint mass production capacity of their own; buying the Lehi, UT fab would save them the trouble of equipping eg. their NAND fab in Dalian, China to also manufacture 3D XPoint.

Micron exercised its contract right to buy out the Utah fab in 2019, Intel paid Micron to manufacture 3D XPoint memory (likely with a price hike in 2020), and now Intel may be buying back the entire fab.

See also: Micron's 3D XPoint departure is not good news for Intel Optane
3D XPoint Memory At The Crossroads

Also at Tom's Hardware.

Previously: Intel and Micron Announce 3D XPoint, A New Type of Memory and Storage
Micron: 96-Layer 3D NAND Coming, 3D XPoint Sales Disappoint
Micron Buys Out Intel's Stake in 3D XPoint Joint Venture
Micron Follows Through, Buys Out Intel's Stake in NAND and 3D XPoint Joint Venture
Intel and Micron Sign a New 3D XPoint Agreement


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DECbot on Friday July 02, @01:47PM

    by DECbot (832) on Friday July 02, @01:47PM (#1152236) Journal

    That is a fucking steal for a working 12-inch fab. In 2006, that would be about a 6-billon dollar investment to make a fab like Lehi. I worked on some of Micron's LPVCD furnaces in their Manassas fab and that tooling was $1million each and that was considered cheap. Honestly, it would be a better investment to buy a working facility than to design and build a new one. Well, as long as you can keep the engineers and maintenance techs and listen to them as they explain the undocumented quirks about the process and equipment.

    --
    cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
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