Intel’s Project Athena is aiming to set the standard for a new generation of laptops with standards for design, portability, power and battery life. Much to our delight, Intel touted Project Athena devices at CES 2020 and alongside recently announced Windows laptops, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook and ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 were right there in the mix. It’s exciting to see Chrome OS come into its own and getting first-class treatment from the world’s largest computer CPU manufacturer.
While the Flip and the Galaxy will likely be joined by other Comet Lake, Project Athena Chromebooks, we are beginning to see more work surrounding the next generation of Intel-powered devices. Last September, we uncovered the addition of Intel’s 10nm Tiger Lake CPU in the Chromium Repository. Since that time, the ‘Volteer‘ baseboard has given birth to what could be the first actual Tiger Lake Chromebook. ‘Ripto‘ began development around the beginning of 2020 but now it looks like there’s a new kid in town.
Cloned from the Volteer baseboard, Deltaur is shaping up to be more than just another Chromebook. For starters, Deltaur is referenced as a device overlay but also as s baseboard. That usually means that a board will be used to create multiple devices. That’s not that unusual except for the fact that Volteer is already a Tiger Lake baseboard but we’ll get to that fact in just a second.
Created a new Google baseboard using Tiger Lake named deltaur, taking volteer as a starting point.Chromium Commit
Given that the Deltaur board is both an overlay and a baseboard, it’s very possible that it is a reference device that will be the foundation of a new Chromebook that has yet to begin development. The fact that it is being developed separately from the Volteer baseboard leads me to believe that this will be an Enterprise-specific device. Why? I’m glad you asked. Previous 8th Gen Chromebooks were built mainly on the ‘Nami’ baseboard with the exception of the Dell Latitude models that feature Whiskey Lake CPUs. Their baseboard was named Sarien.
Fast forward to these devices and you have Volteer and Ripto which are of the same family and are both characters from the Spyro game series. Deltaur is a Tiger Lake device but its name is taken from the Space Quest PC game series from the late 80s and early 90s. Not coincidentally, Sarien is from that same series. That little tidbit gives me confidence that these two are related. It’s even possible that Deltaur will be Dell’s next iteration of the Latitude Chromebook but I haven’t uncovered any solid evidence of that fact. Either way, we have a landslide of new and powerful Chromebooks headed our way in the coming months and based on these commits, 2021 will be no different. Stay tuned. It’s going to be fun time to be a Chrome OS fan.