Toshiba has revealed that it is struggling to meet demand for the flash memory required for Apple's iPod shuffle.

Corporate Vice President Masashi Muromachi said: "When it comes to the supply-demand balance we are currently unable to satisfy all customer demands."

Reuters notes that Muromachi referenced the launch of iPod shuffle saying: "Demand created by this new machine is so vast that our current capacity can in no way meet their needs."

He said that Toshiba would accelerate plans to expand output of flash memory chips. According to Reuters, Toshiba will increase chip investment to a record 203 billion yen ($1.92 billion) for the year to March 31, up from an originally planned 179 billion yen.

Toshiba also announced that it would move forward the production schedule at a new flash memory plant owned jointly with US partner SanDisk, citing a rapidly growing market for flash memories.

Audio booster

In related news, SigmaTel, the company that makes the audio chip that features in Apple's iPod shuffle, is likely to get a "big boost" thanks to the popularity of Apple's device, say analysts.

CIBC World Markets analyst Rick Schafer expects SigmaTel's revenue to double to nearly $400 million, and predicts: "SigmaTel will be taking more market share this year."

Thomas Weisel analyst Jason Pflaum told Investor's Business Daily: "The company is one of the hottest players in a hot market. SigmaTel is positioned well across all segments."