How many different ways can you say "surging wireless handset volume?"

Last week, both Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Motorola (NYSE:MOT) spoke of significant growth in cell phone volume sales, as Nokia grew handset shipments 23% and Motorola 19%. But it was the wireless chip makers that benefited most from volume: Linear Technology (NASDAQ:LLTC) chipped in with strong results and Cree (NASDAQ:CREE) delivered more LEDs.

Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) was no different.

For the third quarter, the company grew revenues 13% to $2.5 billion, beating the high end of the guidance it gave last month. Of that, semiconductor sales grew 16% to $2.1 billion, driven by a 30% increase from the wireless market sales. Meanwhile, net income more than doubled to $447 million or $0.25 per share, including a $0.13-per-share gain from the sale of Micron (NYSE:MU) stock.

The greater volume also lent itself to efficiency. Gross margins improved to 40.7% from 37.1% in last year's quarter, reflecting greater capacity utilization rates.

And it doesn't stop with the third quarter. Semiconductor orders are up 29% to $2.3 billion, bringing the book-to-bill ratio to a healthy 1.08. As a result, TI expects fourth-quarter sales between $2.49 billion and $2.7 billion along with increased earnings to $0.14 and $0.19 per share, besting previous analyst estimates of $2.48 billion and EPS of $0.11.

Reflecting TI's guidance, its shares are up 7% to $27.50 in midday trading.

It's apparent that strength in the wireless markets are helping to drive growth among chip makers. But the real question is: Is this sustainable?

Jeff Hwang owns share of Cree. He can be reached at