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Micron Technology states that it is taking an option to acquire Intel’s stake in IM Flash Technologies. The flash memory joint venture is currently still owned by both companies, but this will change for $1.5 billion.

IM Flash was founded in 2005 and is currently the world’s only manufacturer of 3D XPoint memory technology. This is a technique that improves storage performance and reduces server memory costs. It is used by Intel for the premium Optane SSD storage products.

Joint venture

Under the terms of the original joint venture, Micron already owned 51 percent of IM Flash. The company also reserved the right to take over the rest of the shares under certain circumstances. Micron will use that right on January 1st and expects it to take between six and twelve months to complete the deal.

The announcement follows several months after Micron and Intel had announced their joint venture to cease work on the second generation of 3D XPoint in the first half of 2019. From then on, the two companies would both develop the technology separately from each other. For example, 3D XPoint would be tailored to their own products and business needs.

The split stems from the fact that Micron and Intel have different priorities with regard to 3D XPoint. In the case of Intel, it’s all used for SSD drives in data centers and Micron is interested in automotive, mobile and other specific uses.

Under the current agreements, Micron will continue to sell 3D XPoint to Intel at least one year after the IM Flash deal is completed. How Intel gets its hands on 3D Xpoint is not entirely certain, although there are several options. AnandTech states that Intel is considering concluding a new contract with Micron, or to produce its own variant in China.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.