New Chromebooks with AMD processors might get Google’s next-gen Fuchsia OS

Lenovo Chromebook C330
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Google has been working on Fuchsia, it’s a next-gen and unified operating system, for quite some time, but it has remained shrouded in a bit of mystery. Though previously spotted running on the Pixelbook, this move indicates Chromebooks with AMD processors might also eventually receive support for the operating system, according to 9to5Google.

A code change posted on the Chromium Gerrit source code management page is fueling this latest development. It now shows that Google wants to make it possible for AMD-based Chromebook devices to multi-boot into the Zircon kernel. While a bit complex, this kernel is known to power Fuchsia and is essentially the bones of the operating system. Additionally, only a select quantity of Chromebooks currently support multi-booting, and this is the first time that Zircon has been mentioned in connection with the coding for said devices.

The developers who posted this latest code change also do not appear to be linked to the team working on Fuchsia. It instead is likely that the change was made from a team who is already working on the operating system. “I don’t actually have a board to test this on and I don’t think the Zircon kernel works on AMD yet, but they need this enabled to develop for it,” explains a developer in a comment on the code commit.

Despite the code changes, it is not certain when AMD Chromebooks will pick up support for Fuchsia, or if it will be delivered as an update. There’s currently only a small selection of AMD Chromebooks available for consumers, including the HP Chromebook 14 and the Acer Chromebook 315. Given what we now know, it is more likely that Google is just now starting to ramp up development of Fuchsia OS, and could be thinking about using AMD devices internally to work on the operating system.

Speculation has previously suggested that Fuchsia OS could get support for running Android apps. When the source code for the operating system was made public and installed on a Google Pixelbook, it frequently led the device to crash and produce other errors. This all hints that the operating system likely still has a long way to go, especially since rumors indicated it is charged with the large goal of uniting the entire Google ecosphere.

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