1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Chrome Plays Around With More GPU Acceleration

Google

Published on 10 February 2012 08:25 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Google
8 Comments

Google's Chrome web-browser is now up to version 18 beta and this latest release features greater GPU acceleration to speed-up your web-browsing experience, but there's a few caveats.

Chrome 18 Beta arrived in the testing channel yesterday for those using Google's web-browser, it was subsequently announced on the blog. Among the highlights of this latest release is GPU acceleration of the 2D canvas, 3D support for older GPUs, and other changes.

Playing around with more of the GPU from the web-browser catches some Phoronix interest, but when digging deeper, Linux users don't have as much to look forward to. The GPU hardware acceleration of the 2D HTML5 canvas with Chrome 18 Beta is only being done for Windows and Mac users... No Linux love there.

The GPU acceleration for those with older GPUs and drivers is also interesting. In these cases, Chrome is now using TransGaming's SwiftShader software rasterizer to display 3D content. We haven't heard much from TransGaming in the past few years since Cedega (their Wine gaming alternative) evaporated and they started GameTree Linux that still appears to be going nowhere.

Google isn't the only one to license SwiftShader, however, but back in 2010 the SwiftShader technology was licensed by Adobe. Adobe is using SwiftShader within Adobe Flash. TransGaming claims that their software rasterizer is "100 times faster than traditional software renderers" and "SwiftShader-based renderers can achieve performance that surpasses integrated graphics hardware."

SwiftShader supports APIs including DirectX 9.0 and OpenGL ES 2.0 while it does leverage LLVM (similar to Gallium3D's LLVMpipe) for optimizations and code generation. SwiftShader is supported by TransGaming on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. With Google and Adobe being licensees, it's more of a success than TransGaming's other past Linux initiatives.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear Google is supporting SwiftShader as a software fall-back in the Linux build of Chrome. "['OS=="win" and branding=="Chrome"', { 'defines': ['ENABLE_SWIFTSHADER'], }],"

More details on Chrome 18 Beta can also be gathered from the Chromium blog.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Launches The Core i7 5960X, Mighty Powerful Haswell-E CPUs
  2. AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
  3. AMD Radeon R9 290 Open-Source Driver Works, But Has A Ways To Go
  4. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
Latest Linux Articles
  1. How Intel Graphics On Linux Compare To Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Drivers
  2. The Fastest NVIDIA GPUs For Open-Source Nouveau With Steam Linux Gaming
  3. Testing For The Latest Linux Kernel Power Regression
  4. The Most Energy Efficient Radeon GPU For AMD Linux Gaming
Latest Linux News
  1. Nouveau X.Org Driver Released With DRI3+Present, Maxwell, GLAMOR
  2. Microsoft & AMD Release C++ AMP Compiler With Linux Support
  3. AMD, Wine & Valve Dominated August For Linux Users
  4. Linux 3.17-rc3 Kernel Released Back On Schedule
  5. Lennart Poettering Talks Up His New Linux Vision That Involves Btrfs
  6. Mesa 10.3 RC2 Arrives Via Its New Release Manager
  7. Ubuntu 14.10's Lack Of X.Org Server 1.16 Gets Blamed On AMD
  8. MSI Motherboard BIOS Updating Remains A Pain For Linux Users
  9. See How Your Linux System Performs Against The Latest Intel/AMD CPUs
  10. AMD Steppe Eagle Flys To Coreboot
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. SSD seems slow
  2. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs
  3. Is laptop with Intel CPU and AMD dGPU worth buying considering especially AMD Enduro?
  4. Radeon HD5670 and Ubuntu 14.04
  5. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  6. Updated graphics drivers for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise LTS
  7. Catalyst 14.201.1008
  8. It's Now Possible To Play Netflix Natively On Linux Without Wine Plug-Ins