Google: Chrome will be 60 times faster

New WebGL APIs in Chrome 7 provide a serious speed boost, say Google engineers

No, that's not a typo in the headline: In a post at the Chromium blog, software engineers James Robinson and Gregg Tavares say that early versions of Chrome 7 are boasting speeds 60 times faster than Chrome 6. The key, they say, is hardware acceleration -- the same technology that's giving Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 beta such a boost.

The new feature, say Robinson and Tavares, "picks the best graphics API to use on each OS that Chromium supports: Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS and Linux."

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By offloading graphics-processing tasks from the CPU to the GPU, freeing the CPU from having to render not just regular (and increasingly complex) 2D graphics, but 3D graphics as well, Google is applying a turbo booster to a browser that is already known as a speed demon. In the hypercompetitive browser market, Google is playing catch-up when it comes to hardware acceleration, but if these 60-fold speed improvements are for real, Chrome could leave the competition in the dust.

Of course, users won't find out how real the 60x speed boost is until they get to put it to the test themselves, which will hopefully be possible soon. "With Google Chrome's fast release cycles, we expect to be able to get these enhancements to users quickly and add new performance improvements over time," say Robinson and Tavares.

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