The more the merrier, right? Cutesy sayings aside, the world is gearing up to say "hello" to yet another player in the NAND flash memory market, as Japan's own Elpida Memory (which currently specializes in DRAM) will be joining the fray in the coming months. Said outfit stated this week that it has entered into an alliance with Spansion (the former flash memory joint venture between Fujitsu and AMD), with Spansion licensing its NAND flash intellectual property to Elpida as part of the deal. If all goes to plan, Elpida will begin producing flash chips at its western Japan plant "as early as next year," with some of the output being funneled directly to Spansion. 'Course, with the explosion in smartphone popularity, it's not shocking to see a DRAM stalwart looking for ways to dip its toes in that high-demand NAND stuff, and as consumers, you certainly won't find us kvetching about the competition.