A new Chromebook(s goog) powered by Nvidia’s(s nvda) latest quad-core chip could be on the horizon. Chrome Story noticed a new Chrome OS build referencing support and testing for a “T114 Dalmore” chip, which Liliputing notes is likely Nvidia’s Tegra 4, announced officially last month. There haven’t been many products with Tegra 4 chips announced to date, so such a Chromebook could be a boon for the chip company.
Indeed, I was surprised when no hardware makers announced actual upcoming products with a Tegra 4 at Nvidia’s CES press event last month. Instead, the company showed off its own hardware: The Project Shield gaming handheld powered by a Tegra 4 chip. Recently, there have been rumors that Nvidia will create its own reference hardware around the Tegra 4, in order to help partners create new products quicker.
Samsung, which has more experience building laptops, does this with its own Chromebook and Exynos 5, which uses a dual-core Cortex-A15(s armh) architecture. Performance of the chip while running Google’s Chrome OS is acceptable, but slower than the Intel-powered Chromebooks(s intc). A Tegra 4 Chromebook may be a step faster as the new Tegra uses a quad-core A15 design.
If a Tegra-powered Chromebook were to come to market, the most likely launch time would be this year’s Google I/O event taking place in May. It’s possible we see such a device prior to that since it seems everyone is starting to jump on the Chrome OS bandwagon — HP(s hpq) is the latest, having launched a 14-inch Chromebook earlier this week — but I have my doubts that we’ll see anything before Google I/O.
Then again, if Nvidia doesn’t get some products with Tegra 4 in them soon, it may push this testing and integration effort forward and we see a Chromebook powered by Nvidia sooner than later.