Hints of AMD entering the Chromebook market discovered in a Coreboot code review.
Chromebooks have been around since 2011 when Acer and Samsung released their first attempts at the online-only laptops, preceded only by Google’s experimental Cr-48. Since then we’ve had many more models released with the pinnacle of the design being the Google Pixel. But something we’ve never had is a Chromebook running on AMD.
Every Chromebook released so far is either Intel or ARM powered. However, that now looks likely to change as there’s strong hints an AMD-powered Chromebook is set to appear.
The source of this hint is a Coreboot code review. Coreboot is an open source software project that replaces the proprietary firmware (BIOS/UEFI) found in most computers. Coreboot is run on all Chromebooks offered for sale today.
As highlighted by Phoronix, the code review includes reference to “Kahlee,” which was discovered earlier this month by Chrome Unboxed as an AMD board running the Stoney Ridge chipset. Stoney Ridge uses AMD’s Excavator microarchitecture running either a two or four core 28nm processor and 3rd-generation Graphics Core Next Radeon GPU.
The expected Chromebook includes two M.2 slots. As this is a Chromebook it is safe to say both will probably be populated, one with a wireless card and the other with a small SSD.
So we should expect an AMD-powered Chromebook at some point this year, we just don’t know exactly when. Will it be a premium Chromebook? That seems unlikely. You may remember last month Google discontinued the Pixel laptops running Chrome OS. They cost at least $999 and up, and clearly the market was limited.