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PortalPlayer was a fabless semiconductor company that supplied system-on-a-chip semiconductors, firmware and software for personal media players. The company handled semiconductor design and firmware development, while subcontracting the actual semiconductor manufacturing to merchant foundries. The company was acquired by Nvidia in 2007.[1]


PortalPlayer was founded in June 1999 and headquartered in Santa Clara, California with branch offices in Seattle, Washington and Hyderabad, India.[2] The company gained recognition for being contracted by Apple Computer for development of the first iPod.[3][4] The company went public with an IPO in November 2004 and traded on the NASDAQ under ticker symbol PLAY.[5] Sales to Apple grew to 90% of the company's gross revenue, which ultimately hurt the company when Apple switched media processor chip vendors for its iPod lines.[6][7]

On November 6, 2006, Nvidia Corporation announced that it would acquire PortalPlayer for about $357 million.[8] The acquisition was completed on January 5, 2007.[1]


PortalPlayer 5002[]

Dual ARM7TDMI cores with shared SRAM (3x 32KB banks). Errata in memory controller leads to halved data cache performance but fast SRAM. As the ARM7TDMI does not support cache coherency, individual ARM7TDMI cores do not have coherent views of DRAM. Custom logic is used to introduce coherency into the SRAM. Used by the following devices:

PortalPlayer 5003[]

System-on-a-chip containing two ARM7 CPU cores, each running at up to 90 MHz. Fixes 5002 cache bug greatly improving performance of DRAM. Used by:

PortalPlayer 5020[]

System-on-a-chip containing two ARM CPU cores, each running at 75 MHz. Expanded SRAM to 4 banks (128KB) using a crossbar style switch. Used by:

PortalPlayer 5021C-TDF[]

Used by the following devices:

PortalPlayer 5022[]

SRAM is no longer partitioned into fast and slower banks; all have uniform access speed. Used by:

PortalPlayer 5024[]

PP5022 with integrated Austria Microsystems AS3514 DAC and power management chip. Used by:

PortalPlayer APX[]

PortalPlayer's application processor series. Used by:


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nvidia Acquires PortalPlayer. Nvidia (2007-01-05). Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved on 2020-12-09.
  2. Company overview, PortalPlayer. Archived 2000-03-02.
  3. Inside Look at Birth of the IPod, by Leander Kahney, Wired, 07/21/2004
  4. Inside the Apple iPod Design Triumph by Erik Sherman, Electronics Design Chain magazine, Summer 2002 issue. Archived 2010-10-04.
  5. PortalPlayer IPO plays Friday, by Steve Gelsi,, 11/19/2004
  6. PortalPlayer dealt setback at Apple, by Mark LaPedus, EE Times, 4/19/2006
  7. Jim Dalrymple (2006-04-19). PortalPlayer cut out of next iPod; stock plummets (en). Macworld.
  8. Nvidia to Acquire IPod Chip Maker PortalPlayer Inc.. Wall Street Journal (November 7, 2006).
  9. PP5002, Ipod Linux. Archived 2005-08-29.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 PortalPlayer, Rockbox Wiki. Accessed 2021-03-02.
  11. OGG on iPod: Why the iPod May Not Have the Horsepower for OGG, Gizmodo. 2004-06-03. Archived 2006-08-13.
  12. PP5020, Ipod Linux. Archived 2005-08-28.
  13. Virgin Electronics Player 5GB, Virgin Electronics. Archived 2006-01-13.
  14. iPod nano by Jacqui Cheng, Ars Technica. 2005-09-11.
  15. PP5022, Ipod Linux. Archived 2005-08-30.
  16. Philips GoGear HDD16x0 & HDD63x0 Series, Rockbox Wiki. Accessed 2021-03-02.
  17. SanDisk Sansa e200 Series Review by Grahm Skee, Anything But iPod. 2006-03-27. Archived 2007-01-13.
  18. GoGearSA9200info, Rockbox Wiki. Accessed 2021-03-02.

External links[]

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