- Associated Press - Friday, August 20, 2010

Contract manufacturers produce chips to the designs of others in giant factories. Their products go into practically all phones and many PCs, yet they’re mostly unknown to their users. These are the world’s three largest contract chip manufacturers, or foundries:

_ Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is based in Taiwan, with factories there and in Shanghai, Singapore and Washington state. Second-quarter sales: $3.3 billion. Market share in 2009, according to iSuppli: 49 percent. Publicly traded.

_ United Microelectronics Corp. is based in Taiwan, with factories there and in Singapore and Japan. Second-quarter sales: $927 billion. Market share in 2009, according to iSuppli: 15 percent. Publicly traded.

_ Globalfoundries Inc. is based Sunnyvale, Calif., with factories in Germany, Singapore and upstate New York. It’s the former manufacturing arm of Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel’s largest competitor in computer processors. The majority is now owned by the Persian Gulf state of Abu Dhabi. Market share in 2009, according to iSuppli: 15 percent.