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Next-Generation iPod Details Unveiled

Apple has kept the wraps on their upcoming 5G iPods very very tight, with almost no information surfacing except scattered rumors. Today PortalPlayer announced the release of their next-generation PP5022 System-on-Chip, could this be the mark of the new 5G iPods? We think so.

Current 4G iPods, iPod Minis and iPod Photos use the PortalPlayer PP5020, a predecessor to the new PP5022. The PP5022 is specifically designed for enhanced features on hard-disk drive-based personal media players (iPod?) and offers triple the battery life of the PP5020. With the PP5022 chip, a 5G iPod would give you an estimated 36 hours playback, the iPod Photo around 45 hours, and the iPod Mini around 54 hours. This is a huge jump in battery life, which could make the future iPods even more irresistible than they are today.

The chip will also support a USB 2.0 host controller and transceiver; this will offer compatibility with peripheral devices such as digital still cameras and printers. You will be able to connect your 5G iPod to your digital camera, download the photos, then connect it to a printer and print your files.

In addition to USB 2.0 high-speed Device support, there is On-the-Go support; FireWire Link Layer integration; dedicated ATA-66 enhanced IDE bus supporting up to four devices; 4-bit SDMMC controller; consumer CD I2S port; 8/16-bit expansion IO; B/SIR infrared; TWC 3-wire controller; 4 channel, 8-bit ADC; 4 channel, 8-bit PWM/FM; up to 48 GPIOs; dedicated 16-bit memory controller for two banks of 2.5V or 1.8V SDRAM. I’m beginning to think this thing would be a waste in a 5G iPod, maybe put it in a smaller Mac Mini.

Performance on the PP5022 will top that of any chip in any media player, the architecture integrates dual 32-bit ARM7 CPUs with zero wait state and four-port 128 kilobyte iRAM and six DMA channels that connect through multiple high-speed internal buses. Simply put, it will offer peak performance on high demand operations while maintaining ultra low power consumption. The high-performance interface will increase download speeds, improve performance when transferring a large number of music files and when managing photos.

Apple of course has not confirmed or denied any of this information, they can however utilize as many of these features as they choose, if this indeed is the future chip for next generation iPods.

About Fabrizio Pilato

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