Chromebooks are a great addition to the laptop market. In fact, some would argue that they have started to turn the tide slightly on what seemed to be a subsiding market. While a lot of manufacturers were looking to introduce more and more expensive laptop options, Chromebooks looked to offer consumers a viable, affordable and functional unit. By sacrificing elements such as in-built memory and offline use, Chromebooks are able to offer users a decent option but at a significantly cheaper price than the laptop alternatives.
With that in mind, it seems somewhat surprising that AMD microprocessors have not been included in Chromebooks as of yet. They are also relatively cheap to produce but perform very well. Especially in terms of their graphic processing. In fact, back in the day, it was AMD processors which seemed to be in most household computers and fighting back the onward march of Intel. Fast forward to now and most Chromebooks seem to come powered by Intel. So why the lack of AMD processors in Chromebooks?
Well, according to Mark Papermaster, AMD chief technical officer, the time for them is just not right yet. While Chromebooks are selling well and increasing in their sales quarter over quarter, Papermaster notes that the profit for them is simply not there. His comments were noted made to journalists at this year’s International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) where the company are present to focus on their next line of APUs. It seems from AMD’s perspective (or at least Papermaster’s), Chromebooks are not currently ready or wanting of AMD’s offerings which focus much more on graphic processing than anything. This lack of compatibility is probably a result of AMD’s more recent stance on trying to cement themselves in higher margin markets. According to Papermaster, the margin is just not there at the moment with Chromebooks. Once it is, then presumably AMD will hop onboard. Until then though, it looks like Chromebooks are designed to come with either an Intel or ARM processor inside. What do you think? Are AMD right to hold off until there are better margins in Chromebooks? Let us know your thoughts.