The Spansion Expansion

Mar.12.08 | About: Spansion Inc. (SPSN)

Having lost so much sleep over taking money out of one investment and putting it into Spansion (SPSN), I'm now ready for this stock to go way up.

No fooling. With SP1 running 2000 wafers/week, I think the chance that STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) can bring M6 online is low. This week's news from Hynix suggests that their JV fab won't be available for NOR either. And Samsung's NOR is pure 200mm.

The fact is, no sensible investor would put money into NOR now that Spansion has done so. Say M6 is equipped: It's now late 2008. SP1 is probably running 4000 wafers/week. It's about to transition to a 45nm process node. No other NOR or DRAM manufacturer is even talking about that node, that soon. And all this is happening on a fundamentally cheaper technology. Can you see it? A nightmare!

What ST is doing right now looks like smoke and mirrors to me. Consider it: they're telling the press that Catania will be 300mm ready, and soon. They must be telling Francisco Partners that Phase Change RAM is a revolutionary new architecture. They even told told me to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

All the while they're telling their own shareholders that ST is nearly free of NOR and $300 or $400 million richer into the bargain. It's magical really. Everybody wins.

Though I could be way wrong and just wishfully thinking, I can't help seeing Numonyx fading out like a baby bell would. I can't help seeing one third of a $7 or $8 billion dollar market being carved up, say, half half between Spansion and Samung. I just can't help it.

Disclosure: Author holds a position in SPSN