Chrome 91 is 23% faster thanks to these changes

Chrome 91 is 23% faster thanks to these changes


Last week, Google rolled out the Chrome 91 Update on the stable channel. The latest version of the browser introduces tons of new features and improvements, including support for default desktop mode on large-screen devices, revamped controls, and the ability to freeze tab groups. But, aside from the new features, the update also brings a performance improvement under the hood. According to the company, Chrome 91 is 23% faster than the previous version, thanks to some underlying changes.

The fast execution of JavaScript is an “important component” in providing a fast browsing experience. The V8 engine handles this task in the Chrome browser. It runs “over 78 years of JavaScript code on a daily basis,” Google said in a recent article on the Chromium Blog.

With Chrome 91, the company made some improvements to the V8 engine which resulted in a significant increase in performance. Specifically, Google introduced “a new Sparkplug compiler and built-in short calls”. This apparently saves “over 17 years” of CPU time for Chrome users every day.

Google promises faster performance with Chrome 91

In May 2017, Google introduced a two-tier compiler system in the V8 engine including Ignition and Turbofan for running JavaScript in the Chrome browser. Ignition is responsible for quickly starting JavaScript execution while Turbofan optimizes the code for maximum performance. Compilers make different compromises throughout the different phases of JavaScript execution.

Turbofan relies on information gathered while running JavaScript to generate high performance machine code. This results in a slower start than Ignition, providing a slower browsing experience. The newly introduced Sparkplug is a new JavaScript compiler that fills the gap between these two phases. It does not depend on the information gathered when running JavaScript to generate native machine codes. This allows for fast execution while generating high performance codes faster.

Short built-in calls, on the other hand, allow the V8 engine to optimize the memory location of generated code to avoid indirect jumps when calling functions. Thomas Nattestad, Chrome Product Manager, explains that when processor-specific code is generated from JavaScript, the V8 engine places that code in memory. This code calls built-in functions that handle common routines.

However, for some processors, “calling functions that are farther from your generated code may cause internal processor optimizations to fail,” Thomas writes in the blog. With short built-in calls, the built-in functions are copied to the same memory region as the generated code. This will prevent these optimization failures.

In simpler terms, these are underlying changes that make Chrome browser faster than before. If you want to know more about the technical aspects of these changes, you can go to the Blog V8. Google says there are more improvements to come for its browser.

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