PortalPlayer, which makes the audio processor in the iPod, will soon add WiFi and Bluetooth capability, thanks to a collaboration with UK firm Cambridge Silicon Radio. Tony Smith reported the news for Reg Hardware, noting that the new audio chip family, dubbed PP5-22, will be demonstrated at the 3GSM trade show next week in Barcelona.
Mr. Smith wrote: “The company’s pitch is that the integration will allow PortalPlayer-based gadgets to use Bluetooth stereo headsets and reach out to computers’ music archives via the wireless networking technology, and to connect directly to music download services through Wi-Fi hotspots.”
He also noted that Apple is rumored to be readying a music-related press event the week after the 3GSM. Supposedly the invitation’s image shows an AirPort Express power light, which some think means the announcement will concern some form of wireless music. However, Mr. Smith pointed out that PortalPlayer’s new chipset won’t be available until the second half of 2006.