Support for Intel’s 7th generation of Core processors (Kaby Lake) has recently been added the development of Chromium OS. This comes as no surprise as Kaby Lake is the next in line behind the current Skylake processors being used in higher-end Chromebooks like the HP 13 G1. We haven’t seen a lot of the 6th generation Core M chips. But honestly, for the everyday user, the Braswell-based devices are more than enough.
As we’ve seen, those devices are readily available and still coming by the truckloads.
You can see from recent commits in the Chromium OS repositories that Kaby Lake has a similar architecture to the current Skylake chips. Drivers are being taken from the current 6th generation chipset to add support for Kaby Lake.
The similarities are not a surprise as the 7th generation Kaby Lake has been produced, in large part, to bridge the gap while waiting on the delayed, 10nm process Cannonlake. The side-by-side comparisons can be seen to the right. Most likely, the new chips will boast slight performance enhancements along with reduced battery usage.
An interesting bit of information pointed out by one of our readers is the fact that one of the recent commits references i7. This could be a good indicator that plans for a top of the line, high-end Chromebook could already be in the pipeline. We also see reference to the newest version of the linux 4.4 kernel released for use earlier this year.
Kaby Lake’s Atom counterpart, Apollo Lake, is already being implemented into the development of new Chrome devices. I have no doubt we will see a Kaby Lake Chromebook in the works over the next couple of months.
Hopefully we will also see a few more Skylake-based Chromebooks before the end of the year. But, given the increasingly rapid development of new devices and Kaby Lake-based Windows machines already hitting the market, it’s just a matter of time before older-brother Skylake will take a back seat to Kaby Lake.
I say the sooner the better. Once the new chipsets start hitting shelves, older Skylake-based machines become more affordable to make. It would be nice to see an onslaught of mid-range Skylake Chromebooks come to the consumer market in the next few months.
It’s a win/win for everybody.
Stay tuned for more news on Kaby Lake and all the new Chrome devices comings soon.