The Qualcomm-powered Chromebook reality is finally right around the corner with devices like the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (‘Lazor’) already being unveiled back in October of 2020. Though that device hasn’t become officially available and we’re not sure when that will happen, we do know that it is in the cards at this point. In addition to that Chromebook, we also have the recently-announced Acer 511 (‘Limozeen’) education-focused Chromebook that Google showed briefly in their Google Classroom virtual event along with a handful of other code name-only devices in the works like ‘Coachz’ that we’re very excited for.
While those Chromebooks combine with ‘Pompom’ and ‘Homestar’ to make a pretty nice list of upcoming devices, it seems that the Chrome OS team is already at work to bring another Qualcomm Snapdragon processor into the fold. When we first began tracking Snapdragon Chromebooks in the Chromium Gerrit, it was difficult to decipher what the actual processor being used was going to be. Internally, the Snapdragon 7c that we now know will power the above-mentioned Chromebooks was/is referred to as the SC7180. It took quite a bit of dot connecting to put things together, but when the official announcement of the first Snapdragon 7c Chromebook came, let’s just say we weren’t shocked.
This time around, we’re similarly baffled and don’t have firm evidence to support any theories just yet, aside from knowing a new chip is in play and it would appear it is an upgrade over what we already have been tracking for Snapdragon Chromebook development thus far. Say hello to the Qualcomm SC7280, a bump up in one number from the SC7180, a.k.a Snapdragon 7c.
Little is known right now about this new chip, but I can venture a guess and a bit of speculation at this point. It seems each year or so, Qualcomm will be issuing a new 7c and 8c chipsets for laptops. There have been 3 different 8c chips since 2019 (8c, 8cx, and 8cx Gen 2) and only one 7c chip, so we’re hopefully going to see an update in the 7c line soon. With the ‘SC’ standing for ‘Snapdragon Compute’ (versus ‘SM’ in phone-bound chips that stands for ‘Snapdragon Mobile’), the model number would seem to put this mysterious SC7280 in the 7c line as it clearly begins with a 7. Will this be the Snapdragon 7cx that was announced and hasn’t really materialized? Will this simply be a 7c Gen 2? It’s impossible to say right now, but we’re keeping a keen eye on this chip to try and discern what it will end up becoming. Until we have a better feel for how the existing Snapdragon 7c actually performs in a Chromebook, it is tough to get excited about this right now, but we’re definitely interested. Stay tuned for more.