MediaTek seems to have a brand new chipset in the works for Chromebooks, designated as the MT8183, according to a newly spotted set of commits in the Chromium Gerrit code review. The chip is related to a reference motherboard code-named Kukui, and the most interesting information available at the moment is that the SoC appears to be an octa-core affair. The 64-bit SoC those cores comprise isn't going to be weak by default either since that's four ARM Cortex-A53 cores and a further four Cortex-A73 cores. That's double the number of cores featured in MediaTek's previous Chromebook SoC and two more ARM Cortex-A73 cores than the RockChip rk3399 found in the Samsung Chromebook Plus. That could give this chipset a chance at being the first MediaTek SoC to be certified with Google's OP1 moniker, similarly to the above-mentioned RockChip SoC. That's a designation ordinarily reserved for chips that perform very well with Chrome OS, having been optimized to stand apart from those that don't bear the trademarked designation.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not that's the case since processing power doesn't automatically scale up evenly as cores increase but this does at least look promising. The previous SoC designed by MediaTek for Chromebook was a relatively weak, quad-core architecture found in Acer's Chromebook R13 and Lenovo's Flex 11 Chromebook. That was serviceable but didn't provide nearly the freedom offered by the more powerful chips found in some other Chromebooks. The boost up to eight cores should significantly improve on that and may even place performance at a level that can compete with some of the best-performing Chrome OS devices on the market.
In the meantime, there's no further information to be pulled from the commits at this point. So it isn't possible to say what those cores will be clocked at or what other features might be supported by the latest MediaTek chip. That's leaving alone any discussion about which Chromebook OEMs might have partnered with the company on the project since the firm made no announcements and the SoC still isn't listed on its official website.