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Google details Chrome beta JavaScript performance improvement
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Feb 14, 2014, 12:25 PM
 
Chrome users could see an extra boost in performance, thanks to the way the most recent Chrome Beta handles JavaScript. The company detailed how beta version 33 uses "concurrent compilation" to speed up the JavaScript functions of a web page by compiling it into native machine code while it is still running, in an effort to reduce latency in the browser.

Normally, the V8 JavaScript engine avoids compiling the JavaScript until it is executed, according to the Chromium Blog, with this first compilation being unoptimized in order to run quickly for the user. A second compilation by an optimizing compiler takes place afterward, but it usually pauses the execution in order to accomplish this. The new way takes advantage of the nature of multi-core processors to keep executing the code generated from the first compilation while the longer second compilation continues, avoiding the need to pause execution.

Graph showing Google V8 JavaScript compiler with concurrent compilation
Graph showing Google V8 JavaScript compiler with concurrent compilation


The change for the second compilation to take place in a background thread should give a considerable boost to browser users. In testing on a Nexus 5, the Mandreel score of the Octane 2.0 benchmark improved by 27 percent, and is said by Chrome programmer Yang Guo to have also helped graphical items, such as the Epic Citadel demo run much more smoothly than before.

It is unknown when the JavaScript improvement will be implemented in the main Chrome release, but considering the testing was performed on an Android device, it will likely appear on both mobile devices and desktops at around the same time.
     
   
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