By Louis Navellier for InvestorPlace
NEW YORK ( InvestorPlace) -- This has been the year of tech stocks, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq up more than +17% compared with +12% gains for the S&P 500. On top of those gains, there has been a host of high-tech buyouts, from the Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) buyouts of 3Par and Palm to Intel (INTC) acquiring McAfee.
But there are many reasons to expect that 2011 will be even brighter for tech stocks -- particularly well-run penny stocks in the technology sector. That's because these small, agile companies can really take advantage of a strategic niche, a new technology or an overall updraft in the economy in ways big blue chips cannot.
Related Article: A Tiny Company Called Microsoft is your Best Buy Right NowIf you're looking to add some low-priced, high-tech stocks to your holdings for the new year, consider these 7 top penny stocks to buy now: Powerwave Technologies (PWAV) Powerwave is a global company that provides end-to-end wireless solutions for wireless communications networks. Its products are used in wireless networks globally. Since January, this penny stock has gained an impressive +100%, compared to gains of +17% and +11% for the Nasdaq and Dow, respectively. Importantly, PWAV has outpaced earnings estimates for two consecutive quarters. Tower Semiconductor (TSEM) Independent specialty foundry Tower Semiconductor is dedicated to the manufacture of semiconductors. Year-to-date, TSEM has jumped +43%, compared with much smaller gains by the broader markets. In its last income statement, Tower reported a year-over-year quarterly revenue growth of +69%. Currently, Tower trades at $1.29, with a 52-week range of 93 cents to $1.87. Consider buying this inexpensive stock now while it's still at the low end of its range and approaching new highs. Related Article: Find out the 10 FREE stock picks that make up InvestorPlace.com's Best Stocks for 2011. ChipMOS Technologies (IMOS - Get Report) Holding company ChipMOS Technologies engages in a number of testing services, such as engineering testing, wafer probing and final testing of memory and logic/mixed-signal semiconductors. Since January, the penny stock has doubled. In the short term, IMOS stock is up +16.4% over the past three months. It is also important to note that ChipMOS reported a year-over-year quarterly revenue growth of +41% in its last income statement.