Intel Quits Optane Memory Business and Takes $559 Million Loss

Get up memory

Chip giant Intel has announced that it has begun phasing out its Optane Memory business, as well as further developing its 3D XPoint technology.

The confirmation is under the heading “Non-GAAP Adjustment or Measure” in Intel’s Non-GAAP Adjustment Chart released for their Q2 2022 earnings. It reads: “In Q2 2022, we started phasing out our Intel Optane memory business.”

The news was also later confirmed by Intel CEO Pate Gelsinger during a profit call, according to Tom’s hardware. Intel said it will write off $559 million this quarter as an “Optane Memory Impairment” expense due to the company’s shutdown.

“We continue to rationalize our portfolio to support our IDM 2.0 strategy. This includes evaluating divestments that are either not sufficiently profitable or are not essential to our strategic objectives. After careful consideration, Intel plans to discontinue future product development within its Optane business. We are committed to supporting Optane customers during the transition,” the Intel spokesperson told Tom’s hardware.

It is important to note that Intel has Optane products including “Optane Memory”, “Optane Persistent Memory”, and “Optane SSDs”. However, the chipmaker has consolidated the entire Optane business unit under “Optane Memory Company”. This would mean that Intel is indeed phasing out the entire Optane business unit, not just the Optane Memory product.

For those inexperienced, Optane Memory was Intel’s effort to provide users with the fast data access of solid-state drives (SSDs) coupled with the high-capacity hard drives (HDDs).

Announced in 2015, both Intel and Micron claimed Optane could deliver up to 1,000 times the speed and endurance of NAND flash and 10x the density of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), thanks to its underlying 3D XPoint architecture. However, Intel sold its NAND flash business and production plans to SK Hynix in 2020 to focus on the Optane business.

Intel originally kept its data center memory business, including the persistent memory DIMMs that can serve as a supplement to main memory. This capability was only offered by Intel, and that is now coming to an end.

Gelsinger explained that one of the reasons for ceasing Optane’s business is an industry shift towards CXL (Compute Express Link) based architectures, reflecting the sentiments of Intel’s ex-partner Micron when it launched the company last year. left.

Apparently Micron was the only major manufacturer of 3D XPoint, the memory Intel uses to make Optane until it decided to end its work with Intel in 2018. As a result, the chipmaker did not have its own production facilities.

“We further sharpened our focus in the second quarter of the sale of our drone business and made the difficult decision to phase out our efforts in Optane while embracing CXL, a standard that Intel Corporation pioneered,” Gelsinger said. “We have now left six companies since my return.”

Leave a Comment