Currently Google’s line of Chromebooks use Intel’s Atom processor. Chrome OS might be lightweight, but the inclusion of an Atom processor led to sluggish performance in places. CNET reports that Google may be looking to use Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors, as well as the upcoming Ivy Bridge chips in future Chromebooks.
Google added a new commitment to Coreboot, a low level system process of Linux that talks to the computer’s hardware to function correctly. The new code in Coreboot adds support for Cougar Point and Panther Point, Intel chipsets that are part of Sandy and Ivy Bridge. Cougar and Panther Point handle communication duties
While low-power Sandy/Ivy Bridge processors would bring a great boost in performance, it could adversely affect battery life as a result: right now the current Chromebooks can get through a day even with moderate use. However, with the right processor and careful power management profiles, it may not be an issue.
Graphics would also see a big boost with newer Intel processors. That would come in handy for any browser-based gaming, not to mention web and local video playback. While there’s no guarantee we’ll see a suped-up Chromebook in the future, it seems odd that Google would go to the trouble of adding the code without an OEM following up with a product later on. DigiTimes reported last year that Google was working with Intel to bring the Core i line of processors to Chromebooks.