Micron and Intel will stop their NAND memory joint development as part of their strategy to work independently on future generations of 3D NAND.
Intel and Micron agreed to complete development of their third-generation of 3D NAND technology, which will be delivered toward the end of this year and extending into early 2019. Beyond that technology node, both Intel and Micron will develop 3D NAND independently to better optimize the technology and products for their individual business needs.
Micron and Intel expect no change in the cadence of their respective 3D NAND technology development of future nodes. The two companies are currently ramping products based on their second-generation of 3D NAND (64 layer) technology.
Intel and Micron will continue to jointly develop and manufacture 3D XPoint at the Intel-Micron Flash Technologies (IMFT) joint venture fab in Lehi, Utah, which is now entirely focused on 3D XPoint memory production.
“Our roadmap for 3D NAND technology development is strong, and we intend to bring competitive products to market based on our industry-leading 3D NAND technology,” said said Scott DeBoer, executive vice president of Technology Development at Micron.
Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group at Intel Corporation, said: “Our roadmap of 3D NAND and Optane technology provides our customers with powerful solutions for many of today’s computing and storage needs.”
TrendForce said 96-layer 3D-NAND Flash will not become the mainstream products until 2019, so this decision of parting ways will not influence their product roadmaps until 2020.
Micron and Intel’s NAND Flash procurement agreement will continue. This decision will not influence their production capacity in short term. In long run, Intel will focus on production of 3D-NAND Flash for server SSD in its fab in Dalian. Micron will have development strategies and product portfolios as it has two 3D-NAND Flash fabs in Singapore, together with advantages in DRAM production.
Though they have different needs in NAND Flash development, they will cooperate in developing 3D XPoint.