Google code hints at Intel Haswell-based Chromebook

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