Intel is shutting down its Optane memory business

Intel Optane
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel is set to shut down its Optane memory business, suffering a $559 million inventory write-off in the process.

Optane is a type of memory system designed to boost the performance of hard disk drives (HDDs) and slower SATA SSDs by bridging storage and RAM.

Intel chief executive Pat Gelsinger attributed the decision to shut down Optane to a wider industry shift towards Compute Express Link (CXL) architectures.

The announcement came alongside a disappointing set of quarterly results; the semiconductor giant's Q2 revenue fell 17% to $15.3 billion. 

Closing down Optane

The Optane business isn't the only one Intel is getting out of. In December 2020, Intel sold its SSD business to South Korean hardware firm SK Hynix.

The company has also divested its drone interests, selling more than 9,000 drones to Elon Musk's brother Kimbal Musk, which will be used to start a new light show company Nova Sky Stories.

Unfortunately, the impacts of all this streamlining may not be felt by the end consumer any time soon. 

It was confirmed to The Register register that Intel plans to raise prices for "the majority of its microprocessors and peripheral chip products", and that these price rises may be as much as 10% to 20%.

"We continue to rationalize our portfolio in support of our IDM 2.0 strategy," an Intel spokesperson told our sister site Tom's Hardware. "This includes evaluating divesting businesses that are either not sufficiently profitable or not core to our strategic objectives". 

"After careful consideration, Intel plans to cease future product development within its Optane business."

He added: "We are committed to supporting Optane customers through the transition."

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Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.