ARM-based Chromebooks have been around for many years, but they’ve been limited to the slower offerings from MediaTek and Qualcomm. But according to a discovery by Chrome Unboxed, there are mentions of Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chip in the Chromium Repository.
This hints that work is being done in the code in ChromeOS to support the new, much more powerful SoC (system on chip).
But going back to Chromebooks, the Chromium Repository is listing the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 as “SC8280xp,” which was the code-name for the SoC when it was used in Windows Laptops. This is also pretty similar to the original Snapdragon 8cx which was listed as “SC8180x.” For reference, the current generation Snapdragon 7c and 7c Gen 2 are “SC7180” and “SC7280”.
So, what’s the big deal with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2? While we already have reviewed Chromebooks with the Snapdragon 7c and have liked the system performance versus Chromebooks with Intel chips, there could be some massive performance gains with the 8cx Gen 2 platform. Chrome Unboxed reports a possible 50% boost in single-core speed, and a near 100% boost in multi-core speed. For gaming and other GPU tasks, the performance could be as much as 400% faster.
It is unknown when Chromebooks with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 could launch, but the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 is technically no longer a flagship chip from Qualcomm in the Windows space. Windows devices are now using the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, like the ThinkPad X13s. This means that 2023 could be a better chance to see Chromebooks with the chip while work is done at Google and Qualcomm to optimize for the SoC.
Yet unlike with Windows devices where Qualcomm is Microsoft’s only partner making ARM-based chips, this 8cx Gen 3 could also give Google the chance to boost the sale of ARM-based Chromebooks.
However, it is important to note that as of now, this is all just a rumor. We’ll need to wait for official confirmation from Google or Qualcomm to know for sure.
More competition between MediaTek and Qualcomm means a battle for faster Chromebooks. We don’t really know how powerful a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 Chromebook might be, but there’s a lot of hope, especially with Google confirming that a new video editor for ChromeOS is on the way.
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