Advanced Micro Devices and Hynix Semiconductor have made it into the top\u00a010 ranking of semiconductor companies for the first time, according to preliminary forecasts for 2006 revenue from research company iSuppli.AMD was helped by strong growth in microprocessor sales, but its acquisition of ATI Technologies is the primary reason for its near doubling of sales in 2006, iSuppli said. Its revenue for the year is expected to reach US$7.5 billion, putting it in seventh place in the worldwide ranking. AMD would have made the top 10 in 2005, but spinning off its Spansion division that year pushed it down to 15th place.For Hynix, strong sales of dynamic RAM (DRAM) and NAND flash memory chips lifted the company into eighth place for 2006, with expected revenue of $7.4 billion, up from $5.6 billion in 2005, iSuppli said.Infineon Technologies and NEC Electronics both lost spots in the top 10. If Infineon hadn\u2019t spun off Qimonda, it would have moved up from sixth place to fourth for the year. Instead, Infineon moved down to 14th place. NEC slipped from number eight to number 11, after a revenue decline of 0.2 percent, iSuppli said. Intel and Renesas Technology are the only other two companies in the top\u00a010 to see their revenue decline. Intel still holds onto the top spot, but declining sales of its microprocessors and NOR flash memory chips are expected to pull revenue down by 11.6 percent for the year, iSuppli said. Intel\u2019s divestiture of its XScale mobile phone chip business had only a minor effect on its revenue, iSuppli said. The other seven companies in the top\u00a010 not only grew their revenue, but they also\u00a0beat the overall projected 9 percent growth rate for the industry. Texas Instruments is the standout in the top 10, with revenue for the year expected to grow 19.4 percent. iSuppli\u2019s list predicted the year\u2019s top 25 semiconductor makers. Beyond the top 10, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Elpida Memory and Spansion are all expected to report growth of more than 25 percent for the year. iSuppli estimates that overall semiconductor sales for 2006 will reach $258.5 billion, up from $237.3 billion last year.-Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service (Dublin Bureau)Related Links:\n\nGartner, SIA: Chip Slowdown Possible\n\nAMD Subpoenaed by DoJ Over Graphics ProcessingCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.