Micron stops developing 3D XPoint memory and wants to sell factory

Micron will immediately stop further development of 3D XPoint memory. Intel uses that memory for its Optane products, but otherwise there are virtually no customers. Micron wants to sell its 3D XPoint factory.

Micron is already in talks with parties about the sale of its facility in Utah, where the 3D XPoint memory is made. The company aims to conclude a sales agreement by the end of this year. It is not known with which parties Micron is speaking.

According to Micron, there is not enough interest in 3D XPoint memory to justify further investments. The manufacturer says that high investments are needed to further develop the memory type and adapt it to the wishes of customers.

According to Micron, the expertise gained in the development of 3D XPoint can be used for new types of memory intended for storage. Micron will invest more money in developing memory products that use the Compute Express Link interconnect.

Micron developed 3D XPoint in collaboration with Intel, but the parties ended that collaboration in 2018. Micron then took over the Utah factory where the memory is made. Intel uses the 3D XPoint memory for its Optane products and is therefore the main customer.

In January, Intel announced it would discontinue Optane SSDs for consumer PCs. The manufacturer still makes Optane products for consumer laptops and for the enterprise market. Intel therefore seems to be the most obvious takeover candidate of the factory. However, Micron also notes that the manufacturing facility can be converted for other chips.

The development of 3D XPoint started in 2015. At the time, Micron and Intel presented it as a memory that combines the speed of working memory with the storage capacity of flash memory. It is therefore also more expensive than nand memory. SSDs like the Intel Optane H10 combine nand memory with a small amount of 3D XPoint memory as a cache. Intel also makes dimms with 3D XPoint memory; they should offer a higher capacity at a lower price than dimms with dram.

Intel Optane SSD with 3D XPoint memory for the enterprise market