I don't think Dallas-based chip maker Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) even knows how to do things small. When it pushes into a new market -- from DSPs in the 1980s to mobile communications in the 1990s -- it goes for all-out dominance. So far,that strategy's worked quite well.

Texas Instruments (TI) has been a big winner for shareholders over the last two decades, delivering investors roughly 13% compound annual growth. As the company has turned out close to $2 billion in free cash flow over the trailing-12-month period, management has sought to return that value to shareholders. TI recently upped its buyback plan by an additional $5 billion, in addition to a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend. While tech stalwarts Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have more than $20 billion on their respective balance sheets, TI doesn't like to leave excess cash sitting in the bank.

The increase comes atop an already aggressive buyback schedule, which according to management will bring the total authorization for repurchases to $20 billion in the past three years. In its recent conference call, management expressed cautious confidence in a brighter future for the semiconductor market, just as competitors Analog Devices (NYSE:ADI) and National Semiconductor have expressed. But the buyback bump goes a step further, with TI putting big money where its mouth is.

The move is a bullish sign, even in the face of some risks for the chip designer. Earlier this year, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) decided to shake up its chip supply chain, favoring alternative suppliers such as ST Micro and Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) while possibly leaving less room for TI designs. TI also reportedly lost the No. 1 spot in wireless handset chip sales to Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), although the San Diego giant has its own problems with increased competition and lawsuits.

With decades of experience in semiconductor markets, I tend to side with Texas Instruments' vision of the future. It's been prescient in its view of industry trends, so the big vote of confidence in future profitability speaks well in the mind of this Fool.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock has been deep in the heart of Texas. He owns shares of Qualcomm and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Microsoft is an Inside Value selection. The Fool's disclosure policy wears oversized cowboy hats often, but reserves the chaps for truly special occasions.