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Nvidia to produce key chip next-gen vPod

Demand for iPods is stronger than ever, and demand for innovations in the design and functionality of Apple’s portable music player is high as well.

According to a recent report, Nvidia has gained the upper hand in the race to design the chips for the next-generation iPod, named the vPod (for video iPod). This version of the MP3 player is due to be released early next year.

The current iPod line features a multimedia chip designed by Broadcom, which probably assumed that its expertise would continue to be desired in Apple’s factories. However, a new report from American Technology Research says that Nvidia, not Broadcom, will power the inner workings of the vPod.

The analyst who wrote the report further directed stockholders to look closely at Nvidia, changing the company’s share rating from “hold” to “buy”; the recommendation for Broadcom was downgraded from “buy” to “hold.”

Other chip battles are looming as well, with Samsung winning the race to produce a key socket for the iPod nano and SigmaTel holding onto its share of the iPod shuffle production.

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