93059A Chromebook based on Intel’s new Broadwell processor line is in development, recent Chromium code commits show. 

The development board, named “Auron” and spotted in the Chromium code repository by hawk-eyed Francois Beaufort, is the first Chrome device to use the 14 nanometer system-on-a-chip design from Intel.

It’s also nice to see the tradition of naming boards after video game characters shows no sign of slowing down!

But why might a Broadwell Chromebook be notable?

Honey, I Shrunk The Processor!

Size matters. At 14nm, Broadwell marks a leap in chip manufacturing for Intel, rather than an overhaul in top-down design. Shrinking the Haswell architecture down into a smaller footprint will, Intel say, ‘significantly’ reduce power consumption without impacting performance.

The benefits of a smaller, less power-hungry processor is thinner, fanless devices.

Broadwell is expected to maintain roughly the same CPU performance as Haswell, maybe even be a little faster, but with lower power consumption and a bump in graphics capabilities of between 20-50% over integrated options currently offered.

The benefits of a smaller, less power-hungry processor should be obvious: thinner, fanless devices.

But before you scream ‘tablet‘ a quick perusal of the available code shows references to a lid, keyboard, trackpad and a touchscreen. USB 3.0, HDMI and DisplayPort ports are also mentioned.

Not all development boards make it out the other side as a device in one piece. As exciting as this device may look and sound on paper be aware that it could change between now and when it hits the shop shelves.

Development Hardware broadwell development boards