AMD Cracks Top 10 Chip Ranking, Intel Sales Slump

Showing great gains in the past year, AMD's semiconductor revenue is expected to explode by what analysts called a "stunning 90%" this year, according to a report from iSuppli, an industry research organization. After years of coming close to breaking into the top 10, this year's numbers will move AMD up eight places, from No. 15 in 2005 to No. 7 this year, according to preliminary forecasts.

Similarly, iSuppli reported that Hynix is set to achieve a 32.5% revenue growth, pushing its ranking up three positions to take the No. 8 spot by the end of 2006.

The year wasn't so rosy for Intel. The chip giant, along with Renesas Technology and NEC, are the only semiconductor companies among 2005's top 10 to see their revenues drop in 2006, iSuppli reported. Intel's chip sales slumped 11%, though the company still is expected to retain its No. 1 ranking. NEC, however, will drop out of the top 10 and slip into the No. 11 spot due to its expected annual revenue decline of 0.2%.

"This marks the first time in the six years iSuppli has been compiling annual semiconductor rankings that AMD and Hynix have rated among the top 10," says Dale Ford, a VP for iSuppli. "This is an impressive accomplishment for both companies."

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ISuppli also reported a "renewed strength" in worldwide semiconductor sales for the year. The analysts' revised estimate for semiconductor sales in 2006 predicts revenue of $258.5 billion, up 9% from $237.3 billion in 2005. iSuppli had previously forecasted 7.8% growth for the year.