Samsung may bring ‘big.LITTLE’ ARM processor to next generation Chromebook

May 31, 2013
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Google-IO-2013 Pixel chromebook 1600 aa

The Samsung ARM Chromebook is ubiquitous to the lineup. It was the first to be offered at an attractive price point, and opened many of us up to the possibilities and benefits of Chromebooks, and Chrome OS. While not without its issues (Netflix, anyone?), The ARM Chromebook continues to pace the market.

Though powerful, the ARM Chromebook has its limitations. Handling multiple tabs can be a chore, causing older tabs to refresh without provocation. For some, this is a nuisance. It can be controlled with a few tweaks, but the average user isn’t interested in manipulation. Samsung may be changing that soon, bringing their next generation ARM chipset to the Chromebook.

Called the big.LITTLE ARM processor, the architecture is not new to us. Having been implemented in the Galaxy S4 international model, the chipset balances power between those smaller processes (like background information or tasks) and bigger ones (GPS use, games with intense graphics, etc.).

While the Chromebook may not have what we consider those “big” tasks, it very well could in the near future. With Packaged Apps on the horizon, Chromebooks may need a lot more processing power. The continued shift toward HTML5 will mean many more apps, web or packaged, and that means more multitasking.

A chipset like the big.LITTLE could also mean a better device altogether. This could be the first hint at a mid-level Chromebook Pixel, replete with more memory and touchscreen we’ve grown so fond of. Then again, this news isn’t official, and comes from someone who is “well informed about the plans of the two companies”. We’ll see how it plays out.

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