Back in November when Google spilled the beans on Google Chrome OS, their upcoming platform for netbooks, they confirmed that they’d produced a reference design list of suggested hardware for manufacturers to go by. Now, TechCrunch are claiming to have heard from multiple sources that the search giant has gone one step further, and are working with at least one manufacturer to produce a Google-branded Chrome OS netbook that it would sell direct to consumers.
To that end, the sources say Google has produced a so-called “request for proposal” – an invitation for suppliers to cost up and bid for a project – based on “quite detailed technical specifications” from Google themselves. Those hardware specifications are currently unknown, with the only confirmed detail being integrated WWAN and a possible/likely tie-in with a mobile carrier for service. The Google Chrome OS netbook will also presumably have SSD storage, since that was another of the definite specs the company mentioned in November.
Unknown, though, is whether Google will go with an Intel or ARM based processor, and TechCrunch are suggesting that NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 may find a place inside. That would potentially offer Atom-beating multimedia performance together with improved power frugality. NVIDIA themselves have – independently – said 2010 will bring with it numerous Tegra 2 based netbooks (as well as smartphones, smartbooks and MIDs), which fits into the supposed timescale for Google’s Chrome OS netbook launch: they’re believed to be targeting a holiday 2010 release.