Intel, Samsung, Toshiba, Texas Instruments, and STMicroelectronics took the top spots on iSuppli's preliminary ranking of the Top 20 semiconductor suppliers for 2007. Overall revenue for the global chip market is expected to rise by about 4 percent this year to reach $271 billion, up from $260 billion last year, according to the market research firm. Despite slowing semiconductor sales, some of iSuppli's standout companies — including Intel, Sony, Toshiba, and Qualcomm — have been able to capitalize on industry trends to outperform both the market and the competition in 2007. Intel Thrives Intel's 7.7 percent chip revenue growth rate exceeded the overall semiconductor industry growth rate, with sales reaching about $34 billion, up from $31.5 billion last year. The company has captured 12.5 percent of the market share, up from 12 percent last year. The microprocessor giant outperformed rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), whose sales are expected to decline by about 23 percent for the year and whose revenue is set to fall to $5.8 billion from $7.5 billion last year. "Throughout most of the year, Intel successfully defended much of the market share that it won from AMD in the first quarter in the PC microprocessor segment due to the success of its lines of dual- and quad-core chips," Dale Ford, vice president of market intelligence for iSuppli, said in a statement. "This represents a major reversal of fortune compared to 2006, when AMD had the advantage with its popular dual-core microprocessors, allowing it to gain share from Intel." Sony's Revenue Up 57 Percent Sony Corp. has far surpassed overall consumer-electronics chip revenue with nearly 57 percent revenue growth in 2007 — the highest percentage growth of all of iSuppli's Top 20 semiconductor suppliers. Average consumer-electronics chip revenue is only expected to increase by about 9 percent for the year, according to iSuppli. Sony’s revenue increase is due to chip sales for its PlayStation 3 gaming console. Toshiba Corp., which also supplies Sony with chips for the PlayStation 3, holds the second-largest revenue growth for the year, with a 24 percent increase. "The PlayStation 3-driven performance of these two suppliers is the major factor propelling the world-beating growth of the Japanese semiconductor industry in 2007," Ford said. "Revenue generated by semiconductor suppliers headquartered in Japan is expected to rise by 11.9 percent in 2007, the largest increase of any region." Wireless Shake-Up Wireless semiconductor suppliers have demonstrated divergent performances this year. Qualcomm takes third for revenue growth, with a 23.7 percent increase, jumping to $5.6 billion from $4.5 billion last year. Its success is largely based on sales of its wireless chips. Infineon Technologies will see a 14.6 percent increase in chip revenue due increased sales of wireless chips, but Texas Instruments, which derives more than 45 percent of its revenue from wirless technology, will likely suffer a 3.4 percent drop in revenue. iSuppli said the changes are being driven by one event: Nokia's initiative to diversify its supply base. Nokia, the world’s largest seller of mobile phones, historically has used Texas Instruments as its near-exclusive supplier of wireless baseband suppliers, according to Ford. Now, the company has tried a new strategy of adding other baseband suppliers to reduce its dependency on Texas Instruments. "This has benefited other companies such as Infineon, but has cut into Texas Instruments’ sales," Ford said. Meanwhile, fellow mobile-handset semiconductor supplier Freescale Semiconductor will likely see a 10.7 percent decline in chip sales for 2007, largely due to weakness at Freescale’s largest customer, Motorola Inc. Motorola has been losing market share to Nokia and Samsung in mobile handset sales.