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November 4, 2013

Google Pushes For ARM-powered Chromebook Development

Google's purpose-built Chromebook platform, could see a huge change with hardware specifications, with the company pushing its OEM partners (such as Dell, HP, Acer, etc.,) to develop Chromebooks running high-performance ARM SoCs, instead of Intel's chips. There's confirmation of at least one such Chromebook taking shape, which runs NVIDIA's Tegra 4 chip.

NVIDIA Tegra 4 SoC combines a quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU clocked at 1.90 GHz, with 72-core GeForce ULV graphics, and can handle high-end smartphones and tablets with display resolutions as high as 2560 x 1600 pixels. It should make short work of Chrome OS, which is a very lean Linux distro at its core, with a resource-friendly user-interface that's pretty much just your Chrome window with apps, alongside web-pages. Development of Tegra-based Chromebooks came to light when MyCE uncovered a piece of Chrome OS code that points at Tegra 4 SoC, and memory amount of 2 GB.

All's not lost for Intel. Alongside Tegra, there's also equally credible talk of some OEMs developing Chromebooks running Intel's Atom "Bay Trail" SoCs, which are designed by Intel for pretty much the same form-factors as Tegra. "Bay Trail" has one distinct advantage over Tegra, and that is support for the 64-bit machine architecture, and over 4 GB of system memory.