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Samsung grabs iPod design win

Posted: 28 Apr 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Mark LaPedus? Samsung Electronics? Apple Computer? iPod?

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd claimed that they had grabbed a major MP3 chip design win at Apple Computer Inc., at the expense of PortalPlayer Inc.

An executive from Samsung said the company won the MP3 media processor business for Apple's next-generation iPods. Samsung, along with other vendors, also supplies NAND flash memory chips for the iPod.

It's a huge win for Samsung and a blow for PortalPlayer, which announced last week that it had lost the media processor design slot for Apple. Before the announcement, PortalPlayer had broadly been considered a lock.

PortalPlayer, which supplies the media processor for Apple's MP3 lines, saw its stock fall off a cliff following the announcement. The speculation last week was that Samsung, SigmaTel, Actions and LSI Logic were chief among the chipmakers vying for the iPod socket, according to an analyst.

At the SEMI Strategic Business Conference on Wednesday, Samsung disclosed that it won the iPod business. "I knew PortalPlayer would take a dive," said Jon Kang, senior vice president for the technical marketing group at Samsung Semiconductor Inc., the U.S. chip arm of South Korea's Samsung. "I knew that we would win this design." Samsung's chip is based on 32bit processor technology from ARM Holdings plc.

In a brief interview after the presentation, the Samsung executive said the design win represents Samsung's largest LSI chip order to date. "We've been working with Apple a long time," he said. "It's a huge win for us." He added that Samsung also supplies the "majority" of NAND flash to Apple's iPod.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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