Marvell launches their new 88W8997 chipset for the highest performance Wi-Fi chipset for Chromebooks, Laptops, Tablets, Chromecasts, TVs and more. The 88W997 is built on 28nm enables 40% lower power consumption for the Wi-Fi at a higher performance. Marvell are first to get qualified for Chromebooks, in front of Broadcom, Intel and Qualcomm. The 2x2 Wi-Fi system doubles the range. Marvell integrates also the Bluetooth 5.0 spec implementing double the bandwidth for Bluetooth, LTE anti-interference. Marvell provides CSP Chip on Board, QFN package Chip on Board and the M2 2230 module PCI-E Form factor.
MediaTek are showing their first Chromebook, with a dual ARM Cortex-A72 with dual ARM Cortex-A53 big.LITTLE of their "world's fastest" MT8173 SoC with SGX6250 GPU. MediaTek are optimizing the Chrome OS performance in partnership with Google to get this launched as soon as possible, though probably not before the beginning of next year they say. It has dual USB Type-C, one of which can output to a secondary display. For the final product, the built-in Chromebook display can be up to 2K resolution, now showing off 1366x768 on this prototype. Fast charge through the USB Type-C will work. The displays could be 11.6" or 13", the displays will probably be 1366x768 or 1920x1080. The target is affordable pricing. MediaTek together with Imagination and Google are the first to optimize the PowerVR6 GPU for Chrome OS, trying to take advantage of all its heterogeneous multiprocessing speecs to try to optimize the performance. MediaTek is revisiting their optimization approach to upstream all of their work, soon enough people will be able to get all of the source code that they are developing to get this ready.
Haier is launching their ARM Powered Haier Chromebook 11 to be shipping any day now at http://amzn.to/1yrxBY2 for shipping all over the USA with availability probably in all Chrome OS countries also imminently. The Haier RK3288 Chromebook 11 has a nice matte type of display, which may make it preferable for me over the Hisense and Asus one. But if matte or not is to be exclusive to this model or not, is to be confirmed. Again I would prefer a 13.3" matte RK3288 Chromebook with 4GB RAM and with at least 13 hours of battery life. To challenge my $199 Acer Chromebook 13!
Asus C201 is their new Rockchip RK3288 based ARM Chromebook to be sold at $169. With a nice keyboard and mousepad. The Asus Rockchip Chromebook is to be available imminently.
Here's some Web browsing and keyboard typing speed/accuracy test, I load a few random websites on the press room wifi featuring some smooth two-finger scrolling and clicking (consider trade show's thousands of people creating a bit of interference affecting the speed maybe a bit). The Hisense RK3288 Chromebook is one of the world's best value laptops at $149 I think, with I think the best mousepad among the $149 RK3288 Chromebooks (requires least/best pressure to click it seems) and the exterior design of the Hisense with some kind of granular texture I think is the nicest to handle and hold. But the Haier has a preferable matte display compared to the glossy display that I have seen on all the other RK3288 Chromebooks. While the idea of 4GB RAM may sound appealing, even if that increases the price by something like $20 (if they make such 4GB options available), maybe one can also consider that RAM usage on this RK3288 Chromebook, and RAM usage on Chrome OS in general, may be something that Google and Rockchip have been tweaking and optimizing alot, and it's something that is always improving with the automatic and regular software updates that we can expect to be sent out by Google to these. Please understand that I do not believe in running certain browser benchmarks to measure the usability/speed and performance of real user web browsing. To do an optimal benchmark, someone with high-speed cameras should measure how long it takes certain novice and advanced users to do a whole range of things on the web. To me the performance seems extremely good and satisfactory. But of course I would like to have one of these and to be able to use them as my main laptop, to see if it feels like the 32bit RK3288 ARM Cortex-A17 quad-core can power all my web browsing needs! Imagine a smooth enough performance already achieve, how extra smooth the performance may be when Rockchip releases perhaps a next generation Chromebook optimized 64bit processor! Using the newly announced ARM Cortex-A72 perhaps! Check back also for my tests of the RK3288 Chromebooks by Asus and Haier.
Rockchip shows their super cool new $149 Chrome OS Chromebooks on their RK3288 quad-core ARM Cortex-A17 with ARM Mali-T764 GPU. The performance seems very smooth (see my other separate Hands-on Multi-Tab Web Browsing Test videos with each of the Chromebooks). Rockchip has been working for more than the past year with Google's Chrome OS team to optimize and deliver an experience for Chrome OS on their RK3288 platform, stable enough for now launching massive mass productions with Hisense, Haier and Asus through big Laptop factories in Taiwan and China. They would like to see big volumes shipped, possibly more than 10 million units shipped, now available for pre-order the Haier RK3288 Chromebook for $149 at Amazon and the Hisense RK3288 Chromebook for $149 at Walmart
Tyler Baker discusses and demos http://kernelci.org, where development boards all over the world are being booted with the bleeding edge upstream kernel to provide validation results to the kernel community.
With the first being the Hislicon Kirin620 Octa Core ARM Cortex-A53 based $129 HiKey development board, http://96Boards.org is a new open hardware specification for ARM 32bit and 64bit development boards, and a Community Program for software delivery to developers, makers and OEMs. In this video, Linaro CEO George Grey describes the standardized expansion buses for peripheral I/O, display and cameras allowing the hardware ecosystem to develop a range of compatible add-on products that will work on any 96Boards product over the lifetime of the platform.The 96Boards initiative is designed to offer a single software and hardware community across multiple vendor boards supporting a range of different features. A fixed set of minimum functions including USB, SD, HDMI and standardized low speed and high speed peripheral connectors are provided. Vendors may add customized hardware and feature sets provided the minimum functions are available. Linaro expects this to extend the platform life, increase the market for add-on hardware, and accelerate open source upstreaming of support for new SoC features.
Here is the session by Linaro CEO George Grey talking further about the 96Boards hardware at Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015:
Linaro with members such as Hisilicon are porting and optimizing Chromium Blink with gstreamer running just above EGL, the next steps are to merging fully with the RDK project to replace the webkit core with blink core.
The Linaro team ported the Chromium Embedded Framework to Linux running on ARM, the framework utilizes an EGL backend integrated using Chromium's Ozone abstraction layer.