Micron to put Utah computer chip factory up for sale as it shifts strategy

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LEHI (Reuters) — Micron Technology on Tuesday said it will put a chip factory in Lehi, Utah, up for sale as it quits making a type of memory chip it jointly developed with Intel nearly a decade ago.

Lehi is Idaho-based Micron’s only factory making what it calls 3D Xpoint memory, a form of memory chip that aimed to find a price-to-performance sweet spot between the two dominant forms of memory chip: DRAM, which is fast but pricey, and NAND, which is slower but cheaper. The factory will be sold in a transaction expected to close by the end of this year, company officials told Reuters.

Micron introduced its first products based on the technology in 2019 with a set of solid-state drives aimed at data center customers. Sumit Sadana, Micron’s chief business officer, told Reuters in an interview that they received a tepid response from customers because they would have had to re-write large portions of their software to take advantage of the new type of memory.

Low demand means Micron cannot scale up manufacturing to a high enough volume to justify the costs of continuing to develop the chips, Sadana said. He said the under-use of the factory is slated to cost Micron $400 million this year.

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