We track upcoming Chromebooks around here. A lot. While we have a relatively firm grip on what is going on and what is coming, even we discuss boards and codenames from time to time with a bit of confusion clearly lining our faces.
“Who knows at this point?” is a common refrain when a question about a particular board or device is raised. It is a lot to keep up with.
Today we’re going to discuss a few devices we’ve been tracking. These newer device correspond with a few other devices we’ve already found, so we want to try to make sense out of 4 different codenames that all seem to be aimed at a singular device.
Meet Hammer…and Staff, Poppy & Soraka
OK, so this one is admittedly a bit complex. Usually, we have a board that equates to a specific device and then there might be a few other devices based off that same baseboard. ‘Gru’, for instance, spawned the Samsung Chromebook Plus, the upcoming ASUS C101, and the upcoming tablet ‘Scarlet’.
However, once we found ‘Kevin’ (Samsung Chromebook Plus), we were able to track just ‘Kevin’ as we learned more details.
What appears to be happening with this new device is a clear reference board and production board paired with a reference keyboard and production keyboard. And they are all getting a lot of attention and commits in the repositories.
In all, we have 4 codenames that all seem to ebb and flow together:
‘Hammer’, ‘Staff’, ‘Poppy’ and ‘Soraka’.
As a quick refresh, ‘Poppy’ and ‘Soraka’ have been talked about around here a bit. You can click here for what we’ve learned on ‘Poppy’ and here for what we’ve learned on ‘Soraka’, but I’ll give you the rundown.
‘Poppy’ is a reference board/device and ‘Soraka’ is the actual detachable Chromebook being worked on for production. Just as with the Samsung situation, there are features being added to both and things being worked out on both, so they feel like one and the same device. As we learned with prior devices, however, we have to be careful with that thinking.
After all, ‘Gru’ (Samsung CB+ baseboard) was prepped for a fingerprint scanner that never came to Samsung’s latest Chromebook. So, with this latest set of devices, we need to be careful not to assume everything that ‘Poppy’ does ‘Soraka’ will do likewise.
What we do know is this pair of devices are the first detachable Chromebooks being worked on.
Now, What are Hammer and Staff?
Similarly, we have ‘Hammer’ and ‘Staff’. In much the same way, these two devices are reference/production and we need to research them as such.
So, what are ‘Hammer’ and ‘Staff’? They are the keyboard portions of ‘Poppy’ and ‘Soraka’ respectively.
Yeah, the keyboards have their own names and development channels. That’s what makes all of this a bit confusing. Take a look at this commit, for instance. All four codenames are used in this single instance. Sure, it applies to all, but four distinct codenames will make this device both tricky to keep in line and likely easier to find more interesting tidbits about.
It appears that these keyboards will have their own firmware in order to interact with ‘Poppy’ and ‘Soraka’, so there will are bits and pieces we can glean from that development as time passes.
What you need to know for now is there are four codenames that will boil down to one device over time. That device will be ‘Soraka’ and it will ship with the keyboard ‘Staff’. As we really dig into this device, we wanted you all to be clear on what this thing is and what all these board names mean in relation to this new device.
Now its time to start digging in, finding the details, and learning as much as possible about this new addition to the Chrome OS family.