Following a new entry in Google's Chromium Gerrit, it seems as though Intel's follow-up to its Apollo Lake chipsets is finally being readied for their introduction into the Chromebook lineup. That, of course, would be the Gemini Lake chipset, which Intel announced at the end of last year as the successor to the widely-used Apollo Lake chip. While this certainly isn't the first time Gemini Lake has found its way into the Chromium repository, this time its appearance is clearly marked as being for a Chromebook instead of as a reference or test device. Moreover, the entry is described as an "Octopus board-specific ebuild that pulls in necessary ebuilds as dependencies or portage actions." That follows the naming convention used by previous Intel chipsets which are subsequently found in modern Chromebooks. The codenames are thought to be named after playable characters and companion characters in the popular mobile game Hungry Shark.
Given that moving from Apollo Lake to Gemini Lake is an iterative process – with both chipsets sharing a similar architecture – the use of ebuilds from previous Chromebooks makes some sense. However, aside from the less interesting moderate boosts presented by the majority of chipsets falling under this category of Intel Atom processors, Gemini Lake includes at least one processor that could give a noticeable boost to Chromebook performance. The Pentium N5000 is included in the Gemini Lake family of processors and could feasibly provide significant performance enhancements over the Apollo Lake's leading N4200 chip. There are no guarantees that any manufacturer will actually use the chip but it would be difficult to ascertain why they wouldn't since the price point between the two is similar.
In the meantime, for now, the repository doesn't appear to contain any commits or comments that would suggest there are any specific manufacturers working on a Chromebook featuring the Octopus processor. That's unfortunate because it means that there aren't any specific details about any upcoming devices consumers should be aware of. However, it doesn't rule out the possibility and there are at least a couple of electronics and technology events still remaining in the year for a new line of Chromebooks to be announced at. With any luck, the new commits will bear out and result in some exciting new developments in the hardware of Google's laptop-like devices.