Barely three weeks old, the upcoming MediaTek-based Chromebook ‘Rowan’ looks to be in the fast-lane for development. The new board was added to the Chromium repository in mid-January and now we see another piece of the puzzle put into place.
Today we have found that ‘Rowan’ will be getting a fingerprint sensor. Last year we saw the addition of support for fingerprint scanners to Chrome OS. While we have yet to see a device released with this feature, ‘Rowan’ isn’t the first to get support for biometrics. The Kaby Lake device ‘Eve’ saw the addition of fingerprint sensor support in December of last year.
In the commit below you can see the implementation of the FPC1020 biometric device to the ‘Rowan’ board. This fingerprint scanner is the same one you would find in mobile devices like the Xioami Redmi Note 3 and various Huawei phones.
The difference here is that this new MediaTek Chromebook seems to be getting some accelerated treatment in the area of development. With the relative success of the Acer Chromebook R13, this latest ARM chip from MediaTek may be what manufacturers are looking for to bridge the performance gap between ARM and the Intel Core M line.
‘Rowan’s’ owner is still a mystery but we are digging to find out who might be making the Chromebook. We do know from the .dtsi file (device tree source), we’re looking at another convertible. A 12″ device with a very impressive display, upgraded ARM Soc and a fingerprint scanner could make this Chromebook another “breakthrough” product for Chrome OS.
Check back as we keep tabs on ‘Rowan’ and all the upcoming devices from the world of Chrome OS.