Semiconductor manufacturers will set an all-time high for chip sales in 2005 with combined revenues of $235bn, according to newly published data from analyst firm Gartner.
This year marks the first time that sales will surpass the record $223bn set in the boom year of 2000.
"Strong growth in the Nand flash market was a recurring theme in the 2005 market share rankings," said Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner.
"The continuing strong demand for flash cards and USB flash drives in 2005, along with the successful launch of the iPod Shuffle by Apple at the start of 2005 and the release later in the year of the iPod Nano, will drive this device market to the highest revenue performance in 2005."
The strong demand for memory chips helped firms specialising in these segments to gain share.
Intel remained by far the largest semiconductor manufacturer, with sales of $35.1bn representing a 15 per cent market share up from last year's 14 per cent.
Samsung, the world's largest maker of memory chips, claimed the number two spot with sales of $17.9bn, a 7.6 per cent market share up from last year's 7.4 per cent.
Korean manufacturer Hynix realised the largest sales increase of 23.4 per cent to $5.7bn.
Infineon showed the largest decline, losing 7.5 per cent sales to $8.3bn. The drop was caused by a decline in demand for its chips from BenQ Mobile, which earlier this year acquired Siemens' mobile making business.
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