Intel's share of the semiconductor market is as high as it's been in 10 years, thanks to strong sales performance and a key acquisition, according to a study from IHS.

Dale Ford, IHS head of electronics and semiconductor research, said that Intel's 2011 growth marked a substantial improvement over previous years.

"The company's rise was spurred by soaring demand for its PC-oriented microprocessors, and for its NAND flash memory used in consumer and wireless products. Intel's revenue also was boosted by its acquisition of Infineon's wireless business unit. The company's strong rise helped it to stave off the rising challenge mounted by second largest semiconductor supplier Samsung, which had been whittling away at Intel's lead in recent years," he said.

Despite the nearly 21% gains experienced by Intel, the semiconductor market as a whole grew by just 1.3% during 2011, IHS noted. This fell short of the company's prediction of 1.9% growth, which IHS blamed on a weaker-than-expected fourth quarter.