Google released its Chromebook Pixel premium laptop only a little more than a month ago, but it appears that the company is already developing next-generation of Chromebooks based on Intel’s next-generation Core i-series “Haswell” chips. While Chrome OS hardly needs a lot of performance, it is likely that it will still benefit from new instructions and lower power consumption of the new chips.
Google Chrome OS software developer Stefan Reinauer, who works on boot code the operating system, last week submitted Haswell-related code changes to Coreboot, a rapid open-source BIOS replacement for Linux. The new commits from Mr. Reinauer are related to Intel Haswell microprocessor instructions, such as haswell: use dynamic cbmem and haswell boards: support added chromeos function, among others, reports Phoronix web-site.
Leading PC makers, who use Microsoft Windows operating systems, traditionally support new microprocessors from Intel at launch and are able to ship new computers the day Intel announces the new chips. By contrast, when it comes to Chrome OS and Coreboot, the new Intel processors gained support only well after release.
Given that Chrome OS cannot run demanding applications, Chromebooks do not require high-performance central processing units. Therefore, even ARM chips inside such laptops may be enough for the majority of tasks. Early support of Intel Haswell may mean two things: Google is working on revamped Chrome OS with decent support for programs or Google is developing its Pixel 2 ultra-premium laptop that is supposed to have a decent processor given its cost.
So far, Google Chrome-based laptops have been pretty basic and were aimed at various Internet geeks and people with basic needs. Google Pixel is a vast departure from the previous positioning of Chromebooks as it is clearly a premium product. Given the fact that there is no demanding/professional software for Chrome OS, the only premium features of the device are high-resolution multi-touch display and aluminum case.
Google did not comment on the news-story.