AMD's new Ryzen and Athlon chips for Chromebooks promise big battery improvements

The new 7020 C-series processors will feature Zen 2 cores and support up to 19.5 hours of battery life.

Steve Marcus / Reuters

While the performance of its gaming chips often steals most of the attention, AMD's processors have made some serious jumps in power efficiency over the past few years. And as part of the company's goal to bring even better battery life to mobile devices, today AMD is announcing a handful of new 6nm Ryzen and Athlon 7020 C-series APUs for Chromebooks.

The two fastest new chips will be the Ryzen 3 7320C and Ryzen 5 7520C which both feature four cores and total of eight threads with 6MB of cache, a 15-watt TDP and Radeon 610M graphics. Meanwhile, the new Athlon Gold 7220C and Athlon Silver 7120C will sport slightly slower performance with either 2-core/4-thread or 2-core/2-thread chips with up to 5MB of cache and the same 15-watt TDP and Radon 610M graphics.

The new Ryzen and Athlon 7020 C-series family will consist of four chips with up to 6MB of cache, Radeon 610M graphics and 4-core/8-thread designs.

On the Ryzen 3 7320C, AMD is promising up to 1.8 times faster performance compared to rival ARM-based chips or around 15 percent better performance versus similar x86-based silicon from Intel. More importantly, the new C-series processors should also deliver a significant boost in longevity with AMD claiming upwards of 17 hours of battery life for the Ryzen 3 7320C chip, which is about three and a half hours longer than what you'd get from either MediaTek's Kompanio 1380 or Intel's Core i3-N305.

In addition to extended battery life and improved performance, AMD's new Chromebook chips come with support for Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and faster memory bandwidth for LPDDR5 RAM. And thanks to AMD's Radeon 610M graphics, devices based on these chips should also be capable of sending video out to three 4K/60Hz external displays.

Compared to competing Intel and MediaTek chips, AMD claims the Ryzen 3 7320C processor will deliver an additional 3.5 hours of battery life.

But perhaps the best news is that for anyone who might be shopping for a new Chromebook in the not-too-distant future, systems featuring AMD's latest 7020 C-series processors should be available soon. Dell and ASUS already have plans to release new Chromebooks sometime in Q2, with Dell's Latitude 3445 Chromebook sporting a standard clamshell design, a range of new C-series silicon and up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Alternatively, ASUS' Chromebook CM34 Flip will be a 2-in-1 with a 360-degree hinge, a 16:10 14-inch touchscreen, a built-in fingerprint sensor and up to a Ryzen 5 7520C processor, and later this year we're expecting to see even more systems with these chips from Acer and ECS.