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AMD steams into world chip maker top ten

ATI purchase lifts chart position

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AMD stormed up the charts last year as a string of hits - and its decision to form a 'supergroup' with ATI - pushed it from number 15 in the league of most successful global semiconductor companies straight into eighth place.

AMD chart position was driven by a 91.6 per cent increase in sales revenue between 2005 and 2006, new figures from market watcher iSuppli show. The number two player in the x86 processor arena saw its revenues rise from $3.927bn in 2005 to $7.506bn last year, largely because of the ATI purchase but also thanks to what iSuppli called "strong gains in microprocessor market share". That gave it a 2006 market share of 2.9 per cent.

Small? Certainly, but bear in mind Intel was the only chip maker with a double-digit market share and AMD's four nearest rivals - those above it in the chart - beat it only by no more than a single percentage point.

But what about Intel? Its share of the world chip market in 2006 was just 12.1 per cent. Its revenues fell 11.1 per cent between 2005 and 2006, falling from $35.466bn to $31.542bn. Blame its "bleak performance in its core PC microprocessor and flash-memory businesses", said iSuppli.

Still that was enough to keep it at the top of the totem pole, followed by Samsung (7.6 per cent), Texas Instruments (4.8 per cent), Toshiba (3.9 per cent), STMicro (3.8 per cent), Renesas (3.0 per cent), Hynix (3.0 per cent) and, of course, AMD.

Trailing AMD were ninth-placed Freescale (2.3 per cent) and, at number ten, NXP (2.3 per cent). Infineon would have made the top ten had it not spun off its DRAM business as Qimonda. The other former top-ten player, now in eleventh position, was NEC.

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