PortalPlayer-CSR deal paves way for wireless iPods

iPod chip maker PortalPlayer announced this week that it has partnered with CSR, a wireless solutions provider, to add WiFi and Bluetooth wireless capabilities to digital media players. The two companies expect to deliver a wireless chipset by the second half of this year.

“Through seamless integration between PortalPlayer’s PP5022 applications processor family and CSR’s UniFi Wi-Fi chip and BlueCore Bluetooth chip, consumer electronics and other media device manufacturers will gain a significant time-to-market advantage in delivering wire-free media players,” the companies said in the announcement. “Wi-Fi will simplify the synchronisation of media players with a PC as well as open up entirely new ways to download and stream content from the Internet. Bluetooth will enable wireless stereo headset connectivity.”

At the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology Conference yesterday, PortalPlayer CEO Gary Johnson said he expects to announce customers of the wireless chip product later this year. Later that day, the company’s CFO, Svend-Olav Carlsen, said iPod-related sales comprised 95% of PortalPlayer’s business, and predicted that the device would account for 92% to 93% of total revenue this year.

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