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Chrome OS May Be Heading to ARM After All

ChromeStory reports that the rumored "Daisy" Chromebook will be powered by Samsung's upcoming ARM-based Exynos 5250 SoC.

Announced back in November 2011, this 32-nm chip is based on two ARM Cortex-A15 MPCores clocked at 2.0 GHz, and an ARM Mali-T604 MP4 GPU. So far the chip isn't due to go into mass production until 2Q12, meaning it may be a while before we see the ARM-based Chromebook arrive on the market. However, once it goes live, it will be the first Chrome OS device to actually run on an ARM-based chip.

Samsung reports that the Exynos can handle 14 billion instructions per second, making it twice as fast as the 1.5 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip. The new chip will also reportedly deliver four times the 3D graphics performance than current solutions once "Daisy" hits the market, pushing displays up to WQXGA (2560 x 1600) resolution. The memory bandwidth itself will be an incredible 12.8 GB/s.

So far little else is known about the actual "Daisy" Chromebook itself. Currently it's mentioned in the Chrome OS code as well as bugs, referred to as "Type of computer: Daisy." The only other detail uncovered thus far is a possible Ethernet port, leading to speculation that it could be an actual Chromebook or a Chromebox.

Last we heard, Chrome OS wasn't coming to tablets or smartphones, that it was focused on the laptop/netbook form factor. Sundar Pichai, Senior VP of Chrome, made this announcement back at Google I/O 2011 but didn't necessarily rule out ARM-based notebooks and netbooks.

"[Chrome OS] is a new experience we're working on," he told the audience. "It's hardware agnostic in a sense. We are fully, 100 percent focused on laptops. Most of the web usage -- greater than 90 percent -- is on laptops. That's what we're working on today, and we have no other plans on any other form factors."