updated 05:00 pm EDT, Tue June 24, 2008
Seagate to buy NAND maker?
Seagate is rumored to be looking into buying out Intel's 49 percent stake in the IM Flash Technologies joint venture between the chip maker and Micron, a flash memory manufacturer, according to analysts. That is just one option for Seagate, but the analysts say the company would be better off buying into SanDisk, as it is not involved with any other companies and is less costly. Furthermore, they maintain that Seagate needs to purchase or team up with a NAND flash memory maker in order to be successful in its solid state drive (SSD) production.
Purchasing 49 percent of Micron stake from Intel would likely cost Seagate anywhere from $1 to $2 billion, and would require Micron to agree to lose Intel as its partner.
At the end of May, Seagate announced it would launch SSDs, despite their shortcomings, but also market them only for enterprise users. Because of this, some analysts believe the company should buy SanDisk, which is the lowest-cost NAND producer and has built itself a name in the retail consumer side.