In late August, we uncovered the first signs of Intel’s next Atom line of processors in the Chromium repository. It was nearly four months later before Intel made the Gemini Lake chipsets publicly available so I really didn’t expect to see an actual Chromebook with the Apollo Lake successor until later this year.
I was wrong.
Enter the Octopus
There really isn’t much to go on, yet but the commit in question clearly labels the new Gemini Lake Chrome device as a “Chromebook” not a “reference” device as we see on many boards used solely for testing and development.
Apart from the usual Googler’s, I haven’t found names that would point to a particular manufacturer either. Much of the initial work on ‘Octopus’ is being pulled from the existing Apollo Lake development as the two chipsets share very similar architecture and likely will usher in mediocre performance boosts over the current Atom processor that has been a mild disappointment thus far.
Possibly, the recent release of a slew of Apollo Lake devices from just about every OEM could be an attempt to make the leap to Gemini Lake in the hopes of better benchmarks. The silver lining in it all is the fact that the Pentium N5000 is included in this family and cost at release is the same $161 as its predecessor the N4200 found in the Acer Chromebook 15.
We’ve had some serious hands-on with the N4200 and it is a great processor for the money. The latest Acer 15 has ample horsepower to handle larger than average tasks. Fingers crossed that the N5000 Gemini Lake will improve on an already good chip.
The lesser Atom processors, however, will really need to show significant improvement if they are to move out of the shadow of the N3350 Apollo Lake now housed in so many EDU devices. For basic tasks, they’re “good enough” but the power and efficiency initially boasted by Intel is a far cry from real-world performance.
I’ll be tracking updates to our new friend ‘Octopus’ in the hopes we can get some insight on the form-factor, OEM, specs and release will be.
As far as the name, since Gemini Lake is really just a refresh of Apollo Lake, I’m guessing that the new device is keeping with the Hungry Shark Evolution naming scheme. ‘Octopus’ or ‘Kraken’ is a companion pet in the game that eats jellyfish. #themoreyouknow
Source: Chromium Commits