Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 powered Chromebook.
Qualcomm earlier this month unveiled its next-generation flagship mobile processor, the Snapdragon 845, that will power most Android flagship smartphones next year. The chipmaker also showcased a couple of cellular ‘Always Connected’ Windows laptops powered by Snapdragon 835 SoC as well. This suggests that we could see more PCs next year being powered by Qualcomm’s latest chipset. A new report suggests that at least one Chromebook device will be powered by Snapdragon 845 in 2018.
XDA-Developers found references to “chipset-qc845” and a new board called “Cheza” for the chip. Additionally, they also found references to existing Samsung Chromebook Plus with ARM-based chip “rk3399,” which is less powerful than the Snapdragon 845 SoC. Interestingly, this is one of the few ARM chips seen inside Chrome OS devices.
So far, the majority of Chromebooks have been powered by Intel, but we have seen a few instances of ARM chipsets in the past year. The Acer Chromebook R13 uses a MediaTek chipset while the Samsung Chromebook Plus is powered by a hexa-core OP1 processor made by Rockchip.
One reason why chips from the major ARM vendor have not been used with Chrome OS in the past is due to Qualcomm’s two years of driver support. As explained by two ex-Googlers last year, this jives with the five years of software updates that Chrome OS devices usually strive for.
Windows 10 with Qualcomm.
A Snapdragon 845-powered Chromebook sounds like a great match if what Qualcomm demoed with its Windows 10 ARM-based SoCs during the Snapdragon Summit is anything to go by. Earlier this month, Microsoft showed off Always Connected laptops from Asus and HP that were powered by Snapdragon 835 SoC. These laptops promise standby time of more than a week, support for 4G LTE and instant wake and sleep among other things.
All of this including an efficient way to add LTE support could be seen in an upcoming Chromebook, which looks promising to say the least. To recall, the Chromebook that came with support for LTE was the Acer Chromebook 15 back in 2015. Google’s latest PixelBook doesn’t come with an LTE modem although users can tether their phone automatically if the Wi-Fi signal is lost.
Hopefully, Qualcomm’s recent work on Windows laptops with all-day battery life and LTE connectivity is a sign of things to come for Google.
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