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    Investing in Semiconductor Stocks: Three Chipmakers on the Upswing

    Global semiconductor sales have been pretty listless lately, but new data suggests a turnaround is on the horizon for this sector.

    In fact, one new forecast by research firm IDC predicts the rate of growth in the semiconductor sector could potentially double in the latter part of this year.

    For semiconductor stocks, this newfound growth could provide a big lift in profits.

    Even smaller chipmakers may have suitors knocking on their doors for takeovers as they look to increase their market share.

    What does this mean for investors?

    Now is the time to start looking for the next big winner in semiconductors.

    Here's why.

    Semiconductor Stocks in 2012

    According to IDC,semiconductor sales increased 3.7% to $301 billion last year thanks to increased orders for wireless-device chips.

    But 2012 looks even better. The forecast has worldwide semiconductor sales increasing 6%-7%. This will come from declining customer inventories and the never-ending demand for smartphones, tablets and "iDevices."

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