Chrome 91 is boasted to be 23% faster thanks to JavaScript improvements

JC Torres - May 28, 2021, 12:14am CDT
Chrome 91 is boasted to be 23% faster thanks to JavaScript improvements

Despite the obsolescence and, now, death of Flash, the Web has never been richer and more interactive. That’s partly thanks to JavaScript, the much-maligned yet also widely-used programming language that powers the Web and many apps both on the Web and even on desktops. Its power doesn’t come without a price, though, and JavaScript performance has always been the bane of web browsers, which is why Google is so proud of how it has made the latest Chrome release significantly faster and uses less memory, which will be music to users’ ears.

For all the features that JavaScript enables, it is still a programming language that humans use to type out programs. These mostly human-readable programs still need to get translated into a language that the machine can understand and run. This translation process, called interpretation and compilation, is one of the performance bottlenecks that JavaScript has on Web browsers.

Google says that it has developed a sort of middle ground between starting a JavaScript program quickly and making it run fast, which often means getting it started more slowly. This is thanks to a new Sparkplug compiler for the V8 JavaScript engine that Chrome uses which, according to the company, yielded up to 23% speed improvements in Chrome M1. The improvements, however, don’t end there.

Chrome now also uses a well-known trick in software optimization where code is packed more closely together in memory so that the CPU doesn’t jump around when performing the most basic operations. Google says that this improvement is even more relevant for devices running on Apple’s powerful M1 chip, like the M1 Macs and the new M1 iPad Pro.

Although it is arguably the most popular and most-used browser in the world, Chrome is also widely regarded to be a resource hog, both in CPU and memory. This 23% speed boost is no small matter and will eventually also translate to longer battery life on laptops and mobile devices.


Must Read Bits & Bytes