iPod Chip Maker Boosts Battery Life With New Processor

PortalPlayer, the company behind the processing brains in Appleis iPod and iPod mini, announced its next-generation solution Thursday, the PP5022 System-on-Chip.

Building off of the PP5020 featured in current iPods, the PP5022 has dramatically lower power requirements, which the company says could extend battery life by up to three times in devices that use the chip.

The PP5022 also features an integrated USB 2.0 Host Controller and Transceiver, "providing transparent compatibility with peripheral devices such as digital still cameras and printers."

Apple recently updated its iPod mini, boosting battery life from 8 hours to 18 hours. The dramatic battery life improvement could have arrived from using the new PP5022 System-on-Chip.

Asked by TMO whether this was the case, a PortalPlayer representative refused comment. Apple has a long-standing policy of prohibiting parts suppliers from discussing its products, even after they have started shipping.

PortalPlayer Enters Flash Market

PortalPlayer also introduced the PP5024 System-in-Package today, its first entry into the flash-based media device market.

The PP5024 combines the power enhancements, performance, system input/output, and display features of the PP5022 with all of the major analog subsystems necessary to produce a high capacity NAND flash personal media player. These analog features include a stereo high quality DAC with 40mW headphone amplifiers; five high performance voltage regulators; two switching regulators and one 15V backlight driver; 10-bit ADC; Li-Ion battery charger; 128 bit fuse array; real-time-clock; analog audio mixer, and microphone input.

PortalPlayer is currently sampling the PP5024, which is scheduled to ship in quantity in the second half of 2005.

Apple currently uses Sigmatelis D-Major audio decoder in its flash-based iPod shuffle.