Looking at Chromebooks now that we know Ryzen will soon be an option?

Subject: Mobile | January 10, 2019 - 03:50 PM |
Tagged: Chromebook, guide

During AMD's CES keynote they mentioned that their new Ryzen chips will be appearing in some models of Chromebook, which might create some new interest in these mobile devices.  Ars Technica recently published an in depth guide walking you through the important features to look for if you are shopping for a Chromebook.  They also offer quick overviews of the best models currently available, if you weren't going to wait for the new ones to be released.

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"All of those factors, plus the recent introduction of Android apps into the ecosystem, have made Chromebooks popular with younger users, teachers, and anyone who works and plays primarily within the confines of the Chrome Web browser."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

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Source: Ars Technica

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January 10, 2019 | 04:09 PM - Posted by remc86007


January 10, 2019 | 05:14 PM - Posted by LetsFixThatEmbarrassingMistake (not verified)

These will be using 7th Gen AMD A-Series APUs with Excavator cores and not Zen/Ryzen!

This is a very egregious error and neds to be corrected!

January 11, 2019 | 08:41 AM - Posted by Ireen APPLYitYourself (not verified)

I expect battery life to be about 50% of an Intel version and around 33% of a ARM version. Even the never Zen mobile APU's do not come close. These old APUs we perform even worse.

January 11, 2019 | 11:47 AM - Posted by AMDsK12WouldBeGreatForCromeBooks (not verified)

Too bad AMD Mothballed their K12 custom ARM core design to focus on Zen/Server but AMD had limited resources at that time. It was rumored that Jim Keller's Custom K12 design was just like the Zen Micro-Arch in the underlying hardware design and it was only that the K12 Core was engineered to execute the ARMV8A ISA instead of the x86.

So that K12 design would have maybe been a fully custom AMD ARMV8A ISA based core with SMT capabilities and cache/memory symsystems and Infinity Fabric capabilities similar to AMD's x86 ISA running Zen designs.

AMD reaally needs a lightweight Small Zen core design that's similar to AMD's Jaguar cores in power efficiency. So Maybe at 7nm at some point in time AMD could tapeout a first generation Zen core with its lighter weight AVX units or just create a new Zen-2 variant with smaller AVX units like Zen-1 and maybe some unneeded server core features removed.

AMD's Zen/Athlon cores have less Zen virtualization isntructions enabled but I'd rather see some form of advance virtualization ISA extentions retained for Chrome books becuse even on mobile Virtualization/Sandboxing is starting to become more utlilized.

Windows 10 also has that containerizied/sandbox for testing new application downloads before they are actually installed on the system. So in that virtualization/sandbox containerized environment the application can be installed and tested and once the sandboxed environment is closed it all goes by by to the bit bucket with less chances of infecting the system.

So any cromebook APUs from AMD are going to have to be based on some lightweight Zen, or ARM/Other RISC ISA, variant with the latest virtualization instructions to allow for Container/VM like environments as even Google's OSs are making use of virtualization to sandbox browser Tabs and other Appications.

Maybe AMD should look to MIPS as that ISA has just been Open Sourced to a degree so that's similar to RISC-V but the MIPS ISA has been around as long as the ARM ISA. The MIPS software/driver/firmware ecosystm is as mature as the ARM ISA based software/driver/firmware ecosystm so that's a great savings fo any end users looking to create cores that are based on MIPS compared to RISC-V(Not as mature ISA or ecosystem) or ARM ISA Licensing fees required.

The Register Article states:

"AI biz Wave Computing on Monday told the world it intends to open source the latest MIPS instruction set architecture (ISA) in the hope that fosters the development of more RISC-based custom chips.

The outfit acquired MIPS, the fabless CPU design firm that had been sold twice before since 2013, back in June with the intention of using its well-established processor tech for running AI code on IoT devices at the edge of the network." (1)

So really RISC ISA dsigns are more Power efficient for Chromebooks and I'd really like to see a RISC ISA CPU core(ARM ISA, MIPS ISA, or RISC-V ISA, based) paired with AMD's Vega/Navi graphics IP.

AMD's Zen-2/Rome designs are coming as are Ryzen 3000 desktop SKUs based on Zen-2 so AMD really needs to begin to focus on a new Lightweight Zen, Or RISC ISA, design team's efforts on the Mobile/Tablet market to some degree, or even the semi-custom Mobile Gaming Tablet Market in addition to the larger ChromeBook market.

AMD's CEO and Semi-Custom division should be out there trying to interest potential semi-custom clients that may be making chromebooks/tablet devices of their own. This is so AMD's K12 enginnering work will not go to waste. And it's no that difficult to re-enginneer one RISC ISA design for another RISC ISA design and save on any licenseing fees. So MIPS or RISC-V are now open source and maybe some potential AMD semi-custom clients my not have the funds for a top tier ARM Holdings architectural license.


"On the first day of Christmas, MIPS sent to me: An open-source-ish alternative to RISC-V

Well, if you pronounce it 'Vee' and not 'Five'... Anyway, instruction set to be touted under undisclosed license"


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