It’s been quite some time since we’ve talked about ‘Asurada’ and what we expect from it. Developed as the main platform for MediaTek’s mysterious MT8192 chipset, we’ve seen plenty of movement on the board’s overall development, but very little in the way of ‘Asurada’ spreading its wings and being duplicated into other boards. Like we saw with ‘Kukui’ or ‘Hatch’, one main development board tends to spawn a whole family of devices, and we’ve expected no less of ‘Asurada’.
With the news last week that MediaTek is bent on producing a new chipset in the MT8195 specifically for Chromebooks, we have been eyeing ‘Asurada’ with a bit more frequency than before. After all, the striking resemblance of the model numbers of the MT8192 we’ve been seeing in ‘Asurada’ and this new MT8195 that MediaTek has recently confirmed is likely not a coincidence. My guess is the MT8192 was an early model number and has been changed to MT8195 for the Chromebook-specific iteration. As long as the platform chip is the same, internal naming in the Chromium Gerrit really doesn’t matter. Look at the Snapdragon 7c we expect in a handful of upcoming devices: it is still internally being worked on as the SC7180.
Anyway, as exciting as it is to see ‘Asurada’ continue getting development attention, it has been a bit odd that we haven’t yet found an offshoot device from it. Well, until now, that is. Just a few days ago, the first ‘Asurada’-based board showed up and goes by the name ‘Hayato’. Little is available on this device apart from the fact that it is based on ‘Asurada’, so that means it will be a much, much faster ARM-based Chromebook than what we currently have in devices like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet when it does show up sometime in 2021.
The bigger story here really revolves around the fact that ‘Asurada’ is now beginning to spawn off new development boards. As we’ve seen with other baseboards, this process can explode fairly quickly, and our hope is that we start seeing quite a few MT8195/MT8192 devices in development very soon. With ‘Asurada’ being in the works for about 6 months at this point, there’s a reasonable expectation that we could see devices with this new MediaTek chip inside by the first half of 2021. Along with the slew of Intel Tiger Lake Chromebooks, Snapdragon 7c Chromebooks/tablets, and AMD-powered devices we are tracking, the end of 2020 and early 2021 should be absolutely jam-packed with new Chromebooks of all shapes and sizes. Let’s go!