Two chip manufacturing giants, Micron and Intel, published a press release in which the companies acknowledged their determination to end collaboration on multi-layered memory 3D NAND. At the moment both companies are starting to increase individual and independent capacities for 3D NAND 2nd generation memory (64-layer microchips) production. Additionally, the third generation is expected to be introduced by the end of this year. Right after then, the beginning of 2019, Micron and Intel’s partnership in 3D NAND development will end and each one will start its own exciting journey in this field.
Nevertheless, much of collective work is still kept alive. A joint enterprise, IM Flash Technologies, that was created in 2005 continues to exist. Before 2005, Intel had patents on some key technologies in NAND and Micron had its own developments even a year before Intel. Yet, none of them reached any success in the field until they joined their forces and Apple invested $250bln into the industry.
Additionally, the development of non-volatile memory 3D XPoint is still in progress. Here Intel remains dependent on Micron in many ways, as the majority of 3D XPoint production is realised through Micron’s factories.
What does it mean for us, mere mortals? After these companies stop being allies and turn into competitors we can expect a significant price drop for the chips and corresponding devices. If you considered upgrading your PC (which you can do with us in London) with an SSD, soon you will be able to do it for less.