A small nugget in Intel’s Q2 2022 earnings call is that the Intel Optane business is winding down. The wind-down was a quick comment, along with the drone business winding down on the call. In the earnings release, it showed up as a $559M inventory impairment.
Intel Optane $559M Canned Q2 2022 Wind-Down
If you want to learn more about the Intel Optane business, and why Micron quit the venture before Intel, check out our Glorious Complexity of Intel Optane DIMMs and Micron Exiting 3D XPoint.
We saw some evidence of this in the slides we looked at yesterday in More Cores More Better AMD Arm and Intel Server CPUs in 2022-2023. Here is the SC21 (Nov 2021) slide on Sapphire Rapids with Optane:
Here is the Q2 2022 slide, with only DDR5:
Here is the earnings release statement discussing the wind-down of the Optane business in Forward-Looking Statements.
Here is the Non-GAAP adjustment or measure entry:
This is the $559M Optane inventory impairment. Just for a sense of scale, this is huge impairment.
Here is the EPS adjustment:
While exiting the drone business made a lot of sense, this is a much larger business that Intel is leaving.
A few items stand out here. First, this was a hyped and cool technology but the implementation was Intel only and a bit strange, as we discussed in the above video. Second, it is interesting that Intel is taking that large of an impairment. Third, Intel, and others, are putting weight behind CXL. In the earlier video, we noted that Micron left Optane for CXL memory since that allows relatively arbitrary media to be used. It seems like the industry is moving in that direction, so CXL’s time has come.
Still, this was a really interesting technology, albeit one that is now over.