AMD's Sabrina Chromebook SoC Is Really a Mendocino Alias

Chromebook logo on chromebook
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

According to a report by Phoronix, patch notes from open-source project Coreboot have confirmed AMD's mysterious Sabrina project - destined to power Chromebooks - was just an alias for AMD's recently announced Zen 2 Mendocino SoCs. These new chips have already been confirmed to drop into mainstream Windows laptops and Google Chromebooks by Q4 this year.

These chips will give Chromebooks access to a newly enhanced Zen 2 core shrunk down to 6nm, RDNA2 integrated graphics, and LPDDR5 memory.

For the uninitiated, this story started in February when a new Google mainboard known as Skyrim appeared to be equipped with a mysterious new AMD SoC codenamed Sabrina, according to Phoronix. Unfortunately, not much was known about this new processor lineup, with the only exceptions being LPDDR5 support and Coreboot support code similarities between Sabrina and AMD's Cezanne Ryzen 5000 APUs.

But thanks to the latest patch notes from Coreboot, we now know that Sabrina was just an alias for the Mendocino project - which AMD already mentioned at Computex this year. Mendocino is an offshoot of AMD's more powerful Rembrandt Ryzen 6000 mobile processors, packing the same RDNA2 graphics architecture and 6nm node as those chips but downgrading the CPU architecture from Zen 3+ to Zen 2 (it is similar to the Steam Deck's Van Gough APU).

As a result of the architecture change, these chips are destined for mainstream notebooks and Chromebooks instead of the mid-range and high-end mobile markets, with a maximum configuration of four cores and eight threads. These chips prioritize good video performance and high battery life instead of raw CPU horsepower. For example, one of AMD's official slides for Mendocino advertised a 10-hour "mixed-usage" battery life with the Lenovo Ideapad 1.

Mendocino will arrive anytime now, with a launch window of Q4 for both Windows and ChromeOS devices.

We don't know why AMD went to all this trouble to make an alias for the new Zen 2 parts, but at least now we know the truth.

Aaron Klotz
Contributing Writer

Aaron Klotz is a contributing writer for Tom’s Hardware, covering news related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.