MediaTek MT8183 Octa-core Cortex A73/A53 SoC Targets Chromebooks

MediaTek MT8183

MediaTek processors have been found in a few Chromebooks notably in MediaTek MT8173 powered Acer Chromebook R13, but the quad-core Cortex A72/A53 processor hasn’t made it into many models like the hexa-core Rockchip RK3399 “OP1” processor. However, I’ve been informed there are a few patchsets that have been submitted to mainline Linux and V4L2 mailing lists about MediaTek MT8183 octa-core Cortex A73/A53 processor. The latter adds a Digital Image Processing (DIP) driver on MediaTek MT8183 SoC, “which will be used in camera features on CrOS application” and some code related to MT8183 is found in Chromium OS repository, so those clues should confirm the octa-core processor will end up in Chromebooks, with the current MT8183 reference board being named Kukui. There aren’t any product pages for MT8183 on MediaTek website just yet, but by looking at the source code (e.g. Device tree file), and some clues around the web, we can derive the main features of the processor: CPU – …

HP Chromebook 11A G6 EE is Powered by AMD A4-9120C 6W Processor

AMD recently introduced the “new” AMD A6-9220C & A4-9120C low power processors specifically designed for Chromebooks. As pointed by CNX Software readers, AMD A6-9220 & A4-9120 processors (no “C”) have been around since 2016, and the just announced “C” (Chromebook) versions appears to be the same processors but with lower clock speed to meet the 6W TDP requirement. Two Chromebooks based on the new AMD processors – HP Chromebook 14 and Acer Chromebook 315 – were also showcased at CES 2019, and the former is now sold for  $269.99. HP has already announced another AMD Chromebook with a smaller 11.6″ display: HP Chromebook 11A G6 EE (Education Edition). This model is expected to launch in February with the following specifications: SoC – AMD A4-9120C dual core processor @ 1.6 GHz / 2.4 GHz  (Boost frequency), Radeon R4 graphics with 3 GPU Cores System Memory – 4GB of RAM Storage – 32GB eMMC 5.0 flash storage Display – 11.6″ display with …

AMD A6-9220C & A4-9120C Low Power Processors Target Chromebooks

AMD A6-9220C Processor

Intel will usually release new low power processors under 10W TDP every year, but that has not been the case for AMD, with the company releasing several 12-15W processors in the recent past like Ryzen Embedded  V1000 series and the Ryzen 7 2700U processor I’m currently using my Ubuntu laptop. However, AMD has now announced two new A-series processors with a 6W TDP, namely A4-9120C and A6-9220C dual-core processors that specifically target Chromebooks. AMD A4-9120C key features: Processor – 2x CPU cores, 2x CPU threads @ 1.6 GHz / 2.4 GHz  (Boost) Cache – 160KB L1 cache, 1MB L2 cache GPU – Radeon R4 graphics with 3x GPU Cores up to 600 MHz, support for H.26x, VP9 decode Memory – Single channel @ 1866 MHz Video Output – HDMI and DisplayPort Process – 28nm CMOS Package – FT4 TDP – 6 watts AMD A6-9220C key features: Processor – 2x CPU cores, 2x CPU threads @ 1.8 GHz / 2.7 GHz  …

GalliumOS is a Linux Distribution for (Intel) Chromebooks & Chromeboxes

When I wrote about Crostini VM to run Linux apps on Chromebooks last week, I was informed about GalliumOS, described as a fast and lightweight Linux distro for ChromeOS devices – meaning Chromebooks and Chromeboxes – that is based on Xubuntu. Compared to ChromeOS, GalliumOS – and other Linux distributions – provides the ability to run more programs and more flexibility, and GalliumOS is said to deliver improved performance, longer battery life, better touchscreen support, etc.. compared to competing Linux distributions. You can go over the Download page to retrieve an image for your Chromebook or Chromebox, and either replace ChromeOS or go for a dual boot setup. The distribution does not support any Arm Chromebooks for now, and only works with some Intel devices with or without caveats depending on the model used. Check out the hardware compatibility matrix for details. The source code can be found on Github. Thanks to Charlie Brownau for the tip.

Run Linux Apps in (PixelBook) Chromebook with Crostini VM

Ever since the first Chromebooks were released, it has been possible to run Ubuntu or other Linux distributions using Crouton (Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment) on Chrome OS devices, but that requires to enable developer mode, which disables some of security features that come with Chrome OS. Google has now make it easier and safer with Crostini VM that does not require developer mode. The only downsides for now are that it only works on Google Pixelbook, and you need to install/run Chrome OS v67 dev channel with the #enable-cros-container flag enabled. Using Crostini is fairly straightforward. First start crosh terminal with Ctrl++Atl+t, and running the following command to create a VM, and launch a container: This will start a Debian Stretch environment with networking and GUI support, so you can install & run programs like you would in Debian (e.g. apt install htop).  Kevin Tofel at AboutChromebooks managed to install the Eclipse IDE (See screenshot above) and Sublime Text …

HP Chromebook x2 is a 2-in-1 Tablet Running Chrome OS

We’ve recently seen what should be the first Chrome OS tablet with Acer Chromebook Tab featuring a Rockchip RK3399 / OP1 processor, and a 9.7″ display. The device is now joined by a high-end tablet, or more exactly a 2-in-1 tablet/ laptop with HP Chromebook x2. Specifications: SoC – Intel Core M3-7Y30 dual core/four thread processor @ 1.0 / 2.6 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 615 @ 300 / 615 MHz; 4.5W TDP System Memory – 4GB or 8GB LPDDR3-1600 RAM Storage -32GB eMMC flash, micro SD slot up to 256 GB Display – 12.3″ touchscreen display with 2400 x 1600 resolution; Camera – 13MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing camera/webcam Audio – Stereo speakers, dual microphones, headphone jack Connectivity – 802.11 ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 LE USB – 2x USB 3.0 type C ports User Input – Detachable island-style keyboard and an HP Active Pen for pressure-sensitive input. Battery – 48 Whr battery good for about 10.5 hours on …

Linux 4.16 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.16: So the take from final week of the 4.16 release looks a lot like rc7, in that about half of it is networking. If it wasn’t for that, it would all be very small and calm. We had a number of fixes and cleanups elsewhere, but none of it made me go “uhhuh, better let this soak for another week”. And davem didn’t think the networking was a reason to delay the release, so I’m not. End result: 4.16 is out, and the merge window for 4.17 is open and I’ll start doing pull requests tomorrow. Outside of networking, most of the last week was various arch fixlets (powerpc, arm, x86, arm64), some driver fixes (mainly scsi and rdma) and misc other noise (documentation, vm, perf). The appended shortlog gives an overview of the details (again, this is only the small stuff in the last week, if you want the full 4.16 changelog …

Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is the First Chrome OS Tablet

Chrome OS has been found in laptops (Chromebooks), and mini PCs (Chromeboxes) or even All-in-One PCs (Chromebases) for a while, but a new category has launched with Chrome OS tablets starting with Acer Chromebook Tab 10. The tablet is powered by a Rockchip RK3399 / OP1 processor, comes with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage, a 9.7″ display, supports Wacom EMR stylus, targets the education market. Acer Chromebook Tab 10 (D651N) specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399-C / OP1 hexa core processor with two Cortex A72 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, and a Mali-T860MP4 GPU System Memory – 4GB RAM Storage – 32GB eMMC flash, micro SD card slot Display – 9.7″ touchscreen IPS display with QXGA (2048×1536) resolution Audio – Headphone/speaker jack Connectivity – 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 Camera – 2MP front-facing camera USB – 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C  port for charging, data transfer and connection to an HD display Battery – Up to 9 hours …