If you’ve followed along here at Chrome Unboxed for any amount of time, you generally have the feel for what product cycles feel like. Devices begin in the Chromium Repositories and begin branching off from a singular source based on a new chipset. Take the new Tiger Lake 11th-gen Intel Chromebooks we’re just now seeing hit the market as an example. These devices are all built on a baseboard code named ‘Volteer’ and we can trace the genesis of all these devices back to that board starting all the way back in September of 2019. Though we normally would expect those devices to have started arriving late in 2020 or early 2021, things were pushed back a bit by the pandemic.
Generally speaking, we see about a 12-month cycle from the time a new baseboard starts development to the time the first devices based on it begin showing up for consumers. With this new board we’re discussing today – ‘Primus’ – we now have the third 12th-gen Intel Alder Lake board in the works to add to the already-existing ‘Brya’ and ‘Shadowkeep’ boards. The first ever Alder Lake board was discovered by Gabriel back in December of 2020, but it actually began development in early September of 2020: one year after the Tiger Lake devices began.
This tells me that we’re likely going to see these new Chromebooks announced and shown off next January at CES 2022. There’s little to glean from the initial commits at this point, but it is cool to already see three of these next-gen Intel devices already in the works. With ‘Brya’, there are already pages of commits and plenty of work already done. While manufacturers haven’t yet formally announced new devices with Alder Lake chips, there’s a lot riding on this new wave of Intel-based silicon. Primarily, the big difference will be a hybrid approach to core configurations, marrying Intel’s large and small cores together for the first time to get the best of both worlds: power and efficiency.
With the current 11th-gen Chromebooks absolutely smashing it in performance thus far in 2021, the news of a new processor that gets great performance, even better battery life, and enhanced connectivity all sounds great to me. If Intel can keep the performance of Tiger Lake and add killer battery life and upgraded connectivity options, I know Chromebooks will only stand to benefit from it. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more of these devices, but rest assured that they are most definitely on the way. I’d imagine we’ll regularly be adding to the ongoing list as we round out the rest of 2021. Keep an eye on everything and keep yourself from missing out by subscribing to the newsletter below!