While shifting a number of production lines to flash memory chips to meet demand for iPods, Samsung remains the world's top memory producer, according to market researcher iSuppli.

During the third quarter ended September 30, Samsung's share of revenue in the global DRAM business reached $1.85 billion - 28.9 per cent of the market. The figure beat South Korean rival Hynix Semiconductor's $1.06 billion, who took 16.6 per cent share of the market, iSuppli said.

Micron Technology came in third on revenue of $960 million and a 15 per cent market share.

Chronicles of Nanya

But the biggest surprise in the quarter came from Taiwanese memory chip maker Nanya Technology. The company has expanded sales through a joint-venture chip plant it runs with Germany's Infineon Technologies, helping boost its revenue substantially.

Nanya's revenue in the global memory market rose to $435 million, or a 6.8 per cent share, up from $325 million in the second quarter, according to iSuppli. The company increased its market share by 1.1 per cent during the third quarter, helping it catch-up with fifth place maker, Elpida Memory, which has a 7.2 per cent share of the market.

Though the company denies it, persistent rumours claim Nanya might buy Infineon's DRAM operations. Such a move would catapult Nanya into second place among global DRAM suppliers, based on iSuppli's figures. Infineon's share of global memory revenues was 13.9 per cent during the third quarter. If that figure were combined with Nanya's existing market share, it would reach over 20 per cent.