New 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake “ Primus ” Chromebook Debuts

If you’ve been following here at Chrome Unboxed for a while, you usually get a feel for what product cycles look like. Devices start in Chromium repositories and begin to derive from a single source based on a new chipset. Take, for example, the new 11th generation Intel Tiger Lake Chromebooks that we just saw hit the market. These devices are all built on a base code called ‘Volteer’ and we can trace the genesis of all of these devices to this map as of September 2019. Although we would normally expect these devices to start arriving Late in 2020 or early 2021, things were pushed back a bit by the pandemic.

Generally speaking, we see a cycle of around 12 months between when a new motherboard begins development and when the first devices based on it start to appear to consumers. With this new painting that we are discussing today – “Primus” – we now have the third 12th gen Intel Alder Lake card in the works to add to the already existing “Brya” and “Shadowkeep” cards. The very first Lake Alder board was discovered by Gabriel in December 2020, but it started development in early September 2020: one year after the start of the Tiger Lake devices.


That tells me we’re probably going to see these new Chromebooks announced and showcased next January at CES 2022. There’s not much to glean from the initial commits at this point, but it’s cool to see three of them already. these new generation Intel devices already underway. With ‘Brya’ there are already commits pages and a lot of work already done. While manufacturers have yet to officially announce any new devices with Alder Lake chipsets, there is a lot going on with this new wave of Intel silicon. Mainly, the big difference will be a hybrid approach of the basic configurations, to marry Intel’s hearts big and small for the first time to get the best of both worlds: power and efficiency.

With the current 11th gen Chromebooks completely breaking performance so far in 2021, the news of a new processor that delivers great performance, even better battery life, and improved connectivity looks pretty good to me. If Intel can keep the performance of Tiger Lake and add incredible battery life and improved connectivity options, I know Chromebooks will only benefit. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more of these devices, but rest assured they’re definitely on the way. I imagine we’ll be adding to the ongoing list on a regular basis as we complete the rest of 2021. Keep an eye on everything and avoid missing out by signing up for the newsletter below!


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