Analyst: next iPod will sport NVIDIA graphics
If an American Technology Research analyst is to be believed, the next
version of Apple's iPod will feature
an NVIDIA graphics chip
. NVIDIA has snatched the design contract
from Broadcom, the analyst says, Apple's supplier of video processing
chips for the current iPod. The analyst believes NVIDIA will equip the
next iPod with 3D graphics functionality on top of existing
capabilities like H.264 acceleration. These claims are light on
evidence—the analyst's statement is simply prefaced with "based on
our analysis"—but American Technology Research nevertheless bumped
up NVIDIA's share rating from "hold" to "buy." Along with the purported
iPod design win, the expected Q3 release of both NVIDIA's G80 graphics
chip and Sony's NVIDIA-powered PlayStation 3 were factors in the upgrade.
Despite the lack of evidence, an NVIDIA-powered iPod isn't that far-fetched. As Ars
Technica points out, Gamespot suggested in May that a group inside Apple's iTunes division
was hiring programmers with a "gaming background" for a "super secret"
project. In March, NVIDIA made a couple of handheld-related acquisitions: Indian mobile
media and component firm PACE
Soft Silicon, and then Finnish embedded graphics technology
solutions developer Hybrid Graphics.