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AMD falls in world chip maker rankings

Sales down 23.3 per cent between 2005 and 2004

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Does Intel really need to worry about AMD? Not if the latest figures from market watcher iSuppli are anything to go by. The chip giant's small rival may have been justifiably touting some x86 market share gains, but Intel remains way ahead in real semiconductor market terms.

According to iSuppli, Intel sold $35.466bn worth of chips in 2005, up 13 per cent on 2004's total, $31.396bn. AMD, by contrast, sold fewer semiconductors last year than the year before: its 2005 sales totalled $3.917bn, down 23.3 per cent on the previous year's $5.108bn - the worst performance of a world top 20 chip maker. Of course, these figures exclude the spun-off Spansion memory business. Adding in the Spansion results, AMD would have been in eighth place with close to $6.0bn in revenue.

The market as a whole grew 3.6 per cent.

Hynix showed the year's best growth, with a 20.7 per cent jump in sales from $4.606bn in 2004 to $5.560bn in 2005. Intel's 13 per cent gain was next, followed by nineteenth placed Rohm, which saw sales rise 11.5 per cent year on year.

Intel quit 2005 with 15 per cent of the world semiconductor market - AMD's share was 1.7 per cent. The x86 CPU business is big, of course, but the overall chip market numbers reveal how relatively small it is. AMD came 15th in the world chip-maker chart - four rungs down the ladder from its 2004 ranking.

Intel remained top of the chart, followed by Samsung and Texas Instruments - the last two with market shares of 7.3 and 4.5 per cent, respectively. Toshiba rose from seventh place to fourth place, thanks to a 3.7 per cent rise in sales. STMicro took fifth place, pushing last year's number four, Infineon, down into sixth place.

NEC, Philips and Freescale retained their eighth-, ninth- and tenth-place rankings, respectively. Hynix moved up from 14 to 11, Micron from 13 to 12, Sony from 15 to 13, and Matsushita from 12 to 14, all pushing past AMD.

When it comes to fabless chip companies, the two key rivals, Nvidia and ATI, swapped positions in 2005. Nvidia moved up a rung to third place; ATI fell from third place to fourth. The two firms ended 2005 with market shares of 6.1 and 5.9 per cent, respectively, thanks to revenues of $2.079bn and $2.028bn. Nvidia's sales were up 23.8 per cent year on year; ATI's rose by just six per cent, according to iSuppli.

The entire fabless market grew by 10.4 per cent. Qualcomm took first place (again) while Broadcom came second (again). ®

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