Google code hints at Intel Haswell-based Chromebook

Google code hints at Intel Haswell-based Chromebook

Summary: Code changes committed to open source BIOS replacement Coreboot suggest Google has started work on a Haswell-based Chromebook.


Google appears to have begun preparing for the release of Chromebooks based on Intel's forthcoming Haswell processor.

Google software engineer Stefan Reinauer, who works on boot code for Chromebooks' ChromeOS, last week committed Haswell-related code changes to Coreboot, a fast boot open source BIOS replacement for Linux systems.

Google Chrome OS vendor support was added to Coreboot last year, when Reinauer wrote: "Google's Chrome OS can be booted super fast and safely using Coreboot".

Reinauer's new Haswell-related code commits last week included haswell: use dynamic cbmem and haswell boards: support added chromeos function.

Haswell is the codename for Intel's forthcoming 22nm chip, whose low power drain is targeted at mobile devices. Intel has said that Haswell-based devices could get double the battery life compared to devices using its third generation Ivy Bridge processors.

Google Chromebooks are budget machines that run the Chrome OS, a Google built, Linux-based OS designed around web apps and online use. Earlier this year Google revealed the Chromebook Pixel, a $1,299 machine with a far higher spec than the base range.

The current range of Chromebooks feature the Arm Cortex A-15 based Samsung Exynos 5 processor or a dual-core Intel Celeron CPU, while the Pixel is based on a 1.8GHz dual core Intel Core i5 processor.

Google declined to comment.

The Samsung Chromebook. Image: Samsung


Topics: Hardware, Open Source


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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  • Chrome book is a total flop in the market.

    The sales numbers are abysmal and paying $300 for a browser with some fictional cloud storage is a really bad idea... Its not even a computer because it will only run some silly toy apps published by Google.
    • It's a new operating system.

      Let it grow.
    • it's a chess game

      Google is positioning it's pieces for an upcoming gambit. I don't know the end game but Google seems determined to expand the reach and capabilities of Chrome. Win8 isn't meeting expectations on phones, tablets, or PC's. Chrome isn't a full blown OS but MS is vulnerable at the low end of the market and chromebooks are well suited for people needing just a budget internet access device.

    • Flop?

      How many weeks was the Samsung Chromebook the -top- selling computer on Amazon?

      It's hardly a flop just because it hasn't overtaken Windows.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Was?

        Is true some rubbish Dell craptop is catching up.
      • Amazon sells about 1 computer a week AT BEST

        So being at the top of the list means NOTHING.

        Amazon is not a big seller of computers ... and the prices are always more expensive than the local Best Buy store.
        • Wow, you're delusional

          Amazon is more expensive than Best Buy?

          Michael Alan Goff
    • And you are an idiot

      As usual
    • Sales Numbers Are 100% Speculation and Rumor

      There are no confirmed sales numbers of the Chromebook series of any model. The only thing that is known at this point is that school districts across the United States are gobbling them up and that the Samsung model sat atop the Laptop sales charts (again - no numbers, but people were buying them) at Amazon for a few months.
      The "disappointing" numbers came from unconfirmed sources and in the end mean nothing.
      • Most schools purchase ONE for testing

        ... and Google is claiming that as a huge sale.
        • 1:1 Programs

    • Wait..

      So 153 days at #1 on Amazon is not a success? Kthxbai.
  • "Coreboot, a fast boot open source BIOS replacement for Linux systems"

    kudos to seems their commitment to open source is widening every day.. open development makes them to move much faster than their rivals(which have to reinvent the wheels every time) and they also flourish the whole IT industry as they develop their own products!
  • Google code hints at Intel Haswell-based Chromebook

    Kudos Google.
  • I'm much more interested

    in cheap ARM chromebooks with tons of battery life. make more of those, not more of this over priced intel crap. chromebooks fit the cheap portable niche perfectly and should stick to that.
    • Eh ...

      Your use case(s) for Chromebooks (and, perhaps, Chromeboxes) clearly aren't in line with Google's which, clearly, include the education, SMB and enterprise markets. Google should keep all options on the table, so to speak.

      Besides, isn't competition amongst CPU manufacturers a good thing?
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • competition is a good thing

        and I'm fine with them making more variations. but education and enterprise would benefit from portability and cheap prices that ARM brings too. for what chromeOS is being used for at the moment, ARM should be where they focus, even if they spread in other directions more slowly at the same time. the pixel has a pretty screen but it was basically a concept device for a time when chromeOS is more powerfull, not for what people are using chromeOS for now. a haswell chromebook would fall into the same category as the pixel.
        • Really?

          "a haswell chromebook would fall into the same category as the pixel."

          Why not view it as a incremental improvement for the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook that shipped with an Intel Atom N570 dual-core CPU? More here:

          "What all those numbers means is that, given that it's running on Intel Atom N570 dual-core CPU, it's quite fast. That said, personally I would have sacrificed some battery life for a faster processor.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
          • The Exynos Chromebook....

   a replacement for that - twice as fast and a lot cheaper too.

            What Google is doing is engaging the entire PC market from top to bottom with Chromebooks for different prices and roles. This is the clearest indication that Chromebooks are to become full Windows replacements not just second computers for web browsing.
          • Not just Chromebooks

            Chromeboxes too.
            Rabid Howler Monkey