Chromebook versions of the AMD Ryzen 7 3700 and Ryzen 5 3500 CPUs spotted in latest Chrome OS source code
Chromebooks were originally designed to be budget-friendly laptop solutions for students, so, as far as specs go, these devices only feature at most a quad-core ULV CPU with integrated graphics. Most Chromebooks are powered by Intel’s chips, but, last year, OEMs started releasing AMD-powered models here and there. The truth is these AMD alternatives are even more affordable and thus cannot really match the performance of the Intel models. However, based on a few lines of code from the latest Chrome OS update spotted by reddit user coelacanth_poor, it looks like AMD intends to expand the Chrome support with new, more powerful chips derived the Zen+ Ryzen 7 3700U and Ryzen 5 3500U processors.
The BIOS lines of code identify these CPUs as the Ryzen 7 3700C and Ryzen 5 3500C pertaining to the Picasso APU family. The code lines also mention three more chips including the Ryzen 3 3250C, the Athlon Silver 3050C and the Athlon Gold 3150C as part of the Dali family. Presumably, all these chips should come with integrated Vega iGPUs. Now, the Silver and Gold monikers are clearly borrowed from Intel’s entry-level Celeron and Pentium chips, and the performance will most likely be on par, limited to 4 cores at most. The Picasso chips, on the other hand, may not be so low-power and integrate faster Vega iGPUs, bumping the performance to levels we haven't yet seen for Chromebooks.
This all sounds quite enticing, but we must not forget what price sector we are in with these Chromebooks. If the desktop-grade chips raise the price close to Ryzen 4700U models, then all these endeavors are pointless. Hopefully Chromebook OEMs maintain sub-US$500 prices, considering that storage and RAM will most likely still be gimped.