Google has started to publicly test a 64-bit version of Chrome
, the company has announced, in an attempt to improve the speed and security of the browser. Two versions of the 64-bit Chrome for Windows, Dev
, are available to download by default on Windows 7 and Windows 8, though it will still offer the 32-bit version in both channels as an alternative option.
"The majority of our users on Windows 7 or higher now have systems capable of running 64-bit applications, and this version of Chrome can take advantage of these newer capabilities," writes
software engineer Will Harris on the Chromium Blog
The move to 64-bit will allow the browser to use a "more modern instruction set," recent compiler and processor optimizations, and a new calling convention allowing for function parameters to be passed by registers quickly, in theory giving an average speed boost of 25 percent. By using High Entropy ASLR
on Windows 8 and other functions, security is hoped to be improved in Chrome, while earlier testing of the browser reported a "marked increase" in stability compared to the 32-bit version.
The Next Web expects
that, based on a six-week development cycle used on Chrome, a 64-bit beta release is unlikely to arrive before August, with the stable version of the browser likely to ship some time afterward.
A 64-bit version of the Chrome browser has been available for Linux for some time now, and though there is not currently a version for OS X, it does appear that some development
has taken place on the project.