Intel sells storage division to SK Hynix

drescherjm

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Oh dang.
I wonder how many bought Intel SSDs because of the name?
I purchased several 10 to 12 years ago which although small still all work. With that said Intel's flash based SSD offerings have not caught my eye in several years. Well at least on the consumer side.
 
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vegeta535

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I purchased several 10 to 12 years ago which although small still all work. With that said Intel's flash based SSD offerings have not caught my eye in several years. Well at least on the consumer side.
Their recent SSD have been meh but when SSD were starting to take off they were some of the best. Also very hard to beat optane. It is just not very kind to the wallet.
 

HAF72

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Their recent SSD have been meh but when SSD were starting to take off they were some of the best. Also very hard to beat optane. It is just not very kind to the wallet.

This 100%. I remember back when 80gb ssds were going for $300+, Intel was the best back then. Sad to see them not doing so well now besides their optane series. Smart move of them for selling their storage division.
 

/dev/null

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Intel still has the best "consumer" ssds. Just look at the higher end optanes such as optane 905. Hopefully SKHynix offers skus such as the optane ones.
 

MangoSeed

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This 100%. I remember back when 80gb ssds were going for $300+, Intel was the best back then. Sad to see them not doing so well now besides their optane series. Smart move of them for selling their storage division.

My first SSD was an Intel and it was fantastic for the time. They haven’t really made a splash in recent years though.
 
D

Deleted member 89018

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Was the 3rd comment wrong?

Edit: No

heh. Yes, I actually read the article before commenting. Optane was my first thought - Intel selling that would have been huge news.

Intel wanting to get out of the commodity flash storage business and avoid competing in a space already crowded by Micron, Samsung, Hynix and all the end user companies? Probably just a good business move.
 

etudiant

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Have stuck to Intel for SSDs and have not been let down, but was driven to replace my Intel 535 series 480GB drive as it showed only 1 of 100 left on the media wear indicator.
Was surprised to see that 480GB drive show up as near end of life with only 59,655 GB worth of LBAs written.

Currently rolling on a 1.92 TB S4510 enterprise TLC SSD, just SATA ,which is plenty enough for my needs.
Still sad to see Intel leave this sector, is perhaps a replay of the earlier decision to drop out of the DRAM business.
Still a mystery to me how a firm imbued with the ethos of Noyce, Moore and Grove could select the weak leaders that have brought them this low, lagging TSMC and Samsung.
 

Lakados

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Their consumer side was falling flat, so much competition out there that the profit margin was practically nothing for them. Their enterprise parts, on the other hand, top of the line, little to no competition, large profit margins. From just about every angle this is a good move for them.
 

Jinto

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Good move for Intel. Storage is a low margin and cyclical business. Also with the trade war China is investing a ton into NAND production. Prices will continue to drop forcing industry consolidation.
 

Flogger23m

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Their consumer side was falling flat, so much competition out there that the profit margin was practically nothing for them. Their enterprise parts, on the other hand, top of the line, little to no competition, large profit margins. From just about every angle this is a good move for them.

Really? Their recent low end consumer drives seemed to be priced very well. Below Crucial for NVMe, even if QLC. Seems like those drives have been selling very well for PC builders. I am looking at picking one up depending on price soon.
 
D

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qdemn7 As the market for storage gets bigger, less companies could manage the R&D needed to keep up with the needs of that market.

in some cases it simply didn’t make good business sense to continue running a division of a company (like Samsung’s mechanical hard drives) any longer when they were going all-in on flash.

in other cases there was little to differentiate them from competition, and when that happens the market will naturally consolidate just by the numbers. If there’s ten companies all selling similar products for similar prices, like there was for a long time with spinning disks, then those ten companies will each make less than they would if there were only 4 companies.

so we get market consolidation. What started out as a market where you could get hard drives from quantum, western digital, ibm, maxtor, Samsung, hitachi, Toshiba, Seagate, and several others, turns into one where hard drives are produced by just WD, Seagate and... Lenovo? Toshiba? I think that’s all of them now.

on the flash side of things, there’s only a handful of companies that can actually make the stuff, so the companies we see making drives (patriot, ocz, whoever) are all buying their supply from the same few places. It becomes hard to differentiate from the competition, so companies bow out or sell their storage divisions.
 

Lakados

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Really? Their recent low end consumer drives seemed to be priced very well. Below Crucial for NVMe, even if QLC. Seems like those drives have been selling very well for PC builders. I am looking at picking one up depending on price soon.
That's the problem, at those prices there is almost no profit and they don't make enough of them to make up for it on volume. So while their existing product stack is competitive in that space it doesn't have the margins that their investors like seeing. SK Hynix, can incorporate that tech into their existing stack and run with it far better than Intel could as that is their primary market and they can produce parts in the volume needed to make it worthwhile.
 

Jinto

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On a related note Kioxia is also looking vulnerable. Once YMTC ramps up production it will be a bloodbath. Normally at the current NAND and DRAM margins companies won’t invest in new capacity. However in a trade war nothing is normal.
 

qdemn7

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qdemn7 As the market for storage gets bigger, less companies could manage the R&D needed to keep up with the needs of that market.

in some cases it simply didn’t make good business sense to continue running a division of a company (like Samsung’s mechanical hard drives) any longer when they were going all-in on flash.

in other cases there was little to differentiate them from competition, and when that happens the market will naturally consolidate just by the numbers. If there’s ten companies all selling similar products for similar prices, like there was for a long time with spinning disks, then those ten companies will each make less than they would if there were only 4 companies.

so we get market consolidation. What started out as a market where you could get hard drives from quantum, western digital, ibm, maxtor, Samsung, hitachi, Toshiba, Seagate, and several others, turns into one where hard drives are produced by just WD, Seagate and... Lenovo? Toshiba? I think that’s all of them now.

on the flash side of things, there’s only a handful of companies that can actually make the stuff, so the companies we see making drives (patriot, ocz, whoever) are all buying their supply from the same few places. It becomes hard to differentiate from the competition, so companies bow out or sell their storage divisions.
Thank you so very much.
 

Iratus

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Man, almost wish they had sold the optane business too. Getting pissed off waiting for the refresh. Makes sense from both sides though, Intel need to focus and they got a good price for what is a low margin business they aren’t prioritising.

Optane wise Im still sad I could only justify a 380gb one for my machine at home until the refresh comes (well I could have had 480gb but couldn’t be bothered with the converter cable as my mobo doesn’t have u.2)

I’d get a 2tb one of it wasn’t insane money but a sadly the prices were bad to start and have gotten worse.

persistent memory is funny too “how much memory does your database server have” ,”2tb” “...”
 

ochadd

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I have always trusted Intel SSDs the most. It's the only SSD brand that has never failed me. Nearly every byte of my database workloads reside on Intel datacenter SSDs. My Intel X25-m SSDs still live on in family members computers.
 
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I have always trusted Intel SSDs the most. It's the only SSD brand that has never failed me. Nearly every byte of my database workloads reside on Intel datacenter SSDs. My Intel X25-m SSDs still live on in family members computers.
I haven't owned an Intel SSD, but this has been true for me with Samsung SSDs, I still got Samsung RBX SSDs kicking...
 

FrgMstr

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Intel's margins expected by stockholders are not supported by a commodity business unit. Swan is getting squeezed hard by the board of directors currently. He is looking for any thing that can make the balance sheet look better.
 

Ready4Dis

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I'm not really sure the upside for SK Hynix, it's not as if Intel is like the best of the best for SSDs. I'm not sure what they bring to the table to help SK Hynix at all? Almost seems like the price is a lot to pay for getting a blah business. Maybe its more for the server market as alluded to above, but if they put an SK brand on it, doesn't that then lose the "Intel Appeal" that lots of companies still have?
 

DejaWiz

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I'm not really sure the upside for SK Hynix, it's not as if Intel is like the best of the best for SSDs. I'm not sure what they bring to the table to help SK Hynix at all? Almost seems like the price is a lot to pay for getting a blah business. Maybe its more for the server market as alluded to above, but if they put an SK brand on it, doesn't that then lose the "Intel Appeal" that lots of companies still have?

An existing fab that's ready to go, for one thing. Fab 68 cost Intel $2.5B back in 2010, and another $5.5B for retooling to 3D NAND in 2015. Along with all the Intel NAND, wafer, and controller/firmware R&D IP accumulated over the last decade, it's a heck of a bargain for SK Hynix.
 

Ready4Dis

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An existing fab that's ready to go, for one thing. Fab 68 cost Intel $2.5B back in 2010, and another $5.5B for retooling to 3D NAND in 2015. Along with all the Intel NAND, wafer, and controller/firmware R&D IP accumulated over the last decade, it's a heck of a bargain for SK Hynix.
Now this actually makes sense then. I didn't realize they were getting that much of a FAB, so I guess that makes sense. And it's in China so I guess probably cheaper labor. It's a very slow transition as well, through 2025 it says, so I guess it gives them plenty of time to migrate and will give them more capacity to build drives without needing to build their own fab to expand. I can see how that would make a lot of sense for SK now, thanks for this!
 
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