Google may build custom CPUs for new Chromebooks — expected to roll out by 2023

Google Pixelbook
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Google is developing its own custom CPUs for upcoming Chromebooks and tablets to run exclusively on Chrome OS, according to a recent report from Nikkei Asia. With the hugely anticipated Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro being fitted with the tech giant's first Tensor processor, we may see the chip coming to laptops, too.

Sources speaking to the news outlet believe Google's in-house CPU will be coming to laptops and tablets that run Chrome OS, after being inspired by Apple's own success with Apple silicon in MacBook and iPad models. However, don't expect these new Chromebooks anytime soon. 

The report indicates that laptops and tablets with custom chips won't arrive until 2023. With the Tensor chip already arriving later this fall, the new CPU for laptops and tablets is expected to be entirely new — similar to how Apple mainly uses its M1 chip in PCs and A-series processors in iPhone.

Rumors of Google developing a custom chip for Chromebooks have been lingering since leakers caught wind of Whitechapel, which is now unveiled to be Google's Tensor processor. As previously reported, the chip was expected to arrive on Pixel smartphones and Chromebooks, but chips for the latter may have been pushed back.

The most well-known laptop makers have their own version of Google's popular Chromebook, including Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Samsung. However, Google may only be developing its custom chip for its own Pixelbook, leaving other manufacturers to stick with Intel or AMD.

Demand for Chromebooks has soared by 122% year-over-year, and an exclusive custom ARM chip from Google could see that number skyrocket even higher — with Google's Pixelbook taking all the glory.

If Google is working on in-house chips for Chromebooks, we'll have to wait a while before getting our hands on one; if the report is anything to go by. In the meantime, we have the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to look forward to some time in late September to mid-October. Recent reports indicate Google's upcoming flagship may offer faster wireless charging than Samsung Galaxy or iPhone. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.