Memory

Micron addresses memory and storage hierarchy innovation

29th March 2021
Alex Lynn

Micron Technology has announced updates to the company’s portfolio strategy to further strengthen its focus on memory and storage innovations for the data centre. Micron will increase investment in new memory products that leverage the Compute Express Link (CXL), the recently introduced industry standard interface that enables flexible connection between compute, memory and storage.

With immediate effect, Micron will cease development of 3D XPoint and shift resources to focus on accelerating market introduction of CXL-enabled memory products.

“Memory and storage are critical to the data economy, and the need for data centre memory innovation has never been greater,” said Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. “As a leader in memory and storage, Micron is committed to leading innovation to unleash the next generation of data centres. Today’s announcement reflects our focus to invest in high-value solutions for customers that also deliver strong shareholder returns.”

The broad proliferation of artificial intelligence and advances in data analytics are driving workload requirements that necessitate a change to compute architectures. The CXL interface opens up new paths for platform innovation and optimisation in the data centre. Micron sees immense promise in new classes of memory-centric solutions that utilise CXL to scale the capacity, performance and content required by applications to run on infrastructure with greater architectural freedom.

In addition, Micron has now determined that there is insufficient market validation to justify the ongoing high levels of investments required to successfully commercialise 3D XPoint at scale to address the evolving memory and storage needs of its customers. Micron’s portfolio changes do not impact the company’s overall technology investment levels as its focus on emerging memory solutions remains unchanged. Micron plans to apply the knowledge it has gained from the breakthroughs achieved through its 3D XPoint initiative, as well as related engineering expertise and resources, to new types of memory-centric products that target the memory-storage hierarchy.

In line with this new strategic focus, Micron is engaged in discussions for the sale of its Lehi, Utah, fab currently dedicated to 3D XPoint production. The company aims to reach a sale agreement within calendar year 2021.

These actions today may result in certain nonrecurring items in the company’s GAAP financial results but are expected to be accretive to Micron’s near-term and long-term non-GAAP financial performance.

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