Intel’s Optane memory business lost more than $500 million in 2020
Optane was specifically excluded from a deal Intel made to sell its non-volatile memory and solid-state drive (SSD) business to SK Hynix for $9 billion announced in October 2020. That deal commenced in December 2021 and will conclude in 2025.
As a result, the Optane business was transferred from the Non-volatile memory Solutions Group (NSG) and into the Data Center Group (DCG). This has resulted in Intel breaking out the Optane financial data.
However, there is no reason to suppose that Intel did not also make major losses in the 2018 and 2019, following Optane’s introduction in 2017. It seems likely that Intel has lost at least one billion dollars on its Optane business.
Now that Optane is part of DCG, Optane-specific finances are not expected to be broken out.
It is understood that Intel is no longer trying to sell phase-change memory, or solid-state drives based entirely on phase-change memory, into client computing channels. However, in 2021 the DSG launched the Intel Optane Persistent Memory 200 Series and Optane SSD P5800X.
Meanwhile Intel announced that overall 2021 was a great year for the company.
The company announced a net profit of $19.9 billion on sales of $79.0 billion. The sales were up 1.0 percent compared with 2020 but in a global semiconductor market that is widely recognized to have expanded by 25 percent (see Samsung was top chip vendor in 2021, says ‘Goldilocks’ Gartner).
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