Qualcomm just took the wraps off the new Snapdragon 8CX Compute platform at the Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii earlier today. While the keynote was mostly focused on Microsoft Windows-powered ACPCs (Always Connected PCs), we now have a solid confirmation that Qualcomm is indeed working to bring support for Google’s Chrome OS and that’s coming as soon as the second half of next year.
At a Q&A session with a section of journalists in Hawaii, Miguel Nunes who heads Product Management for Qualcomm confirmed that they are at the final stages of supporting Chromium builds and we should be expecting Snapdragon-powered Chromebooks by H2 2019. He specified that the Chromebooks would initially not be based on the latest Snapdragon 8CX. “We want to start with affordable Chromebooks so that the initial products will be based on the Snapdragon 845“, says Nunes.
There have been multiple rumors and leaks over the past six months or so where a Chromebook codenamed Cheza supposed to be powered by Snapdragon 845 to take on the Windows ACPCs. Mr. Nunes has basically confirmed that rumor, although not specifically about a particular device like Cheza.
It’s interesting that Nunes says they are close to complete the work on the Chromium build, but still the first set of Snapdragon 845-powered Chromebooks are expected to arrive only in the second half of next year. Earlier in February, Qualcomm had hinted that they would be interested in considering Chromebooks if and when the average selling price crosses $500, and it seems they are now happy enough to pursue the Chromebooks.
Like the ACPCs, Chromebooks are focused on being always connected, cloud-powered computing, albeit with a different set of use-cases, so it makes sense for Qualcomm to start supporting them. On a related note, Nunes hinted that Qualcomm is actively working with non-traditional PC makers in Asia to bring Snapdragon-powered PCs to emerging markets like India, which should start launching in 2019.
Disclosure: Qualcomm sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel for the event in Hawaii.