Crankshaft Improves Chrome's Peak Performance Twofold
Article by George Norman
On 10 Dec 2010
Announced earlier this week by Mountain View-based search engine giant Google, Crankshaft is a new compilation infrastructure for Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine meant to dramatically improve the performance of resource-hungry JavaScript applications. By using Crankshaft, Google’s web browser, when loading web pages and applications built with complex JavaScript, will offer users a faster and more responsive experience. After all, that is what users love about Chrome – the fact that it’s fast.

On Google’s V8 benchmark suite, Chrome showed a 50% performance increase thanks to Crankshaft. That is impressive; Google calls it the biggest performance increase since 2008, when Chrome 1.0 was rolled out. Here are some images to put things in perspective.


The V8 benchmark measures Chrome’s peak performance, which means overall Chrome is 50% better with Crankshaft. I mentioned above that Chrome also launches JavaScript apps faster than previous versions. So, how much faster does Chrome load apps. On Google’s page cycler benchmark, Chrome’s load performance saw a 12% increase thanks to Crankshaft.

“Crankshaft uses adaptive compilation to improve both start-up time and peak performance. The idea is to heavily optimize code that is frequently executed and not waste time optimizing code that is not. Because of this, benchmarks that finish in just a few milliseconds, such as SunSpider, will show little improvement with Crankshaft. The more work an application does, the bigger the gains will be,” explained Software Engineers Kevin Millikin and Florian Schneider.

In related news, you may want to know that the number of people who use Google’s Chrome browser has increased considerably this year. The number of people who use Chrome has tripled this year, it has gone up from 40 million to 120 million. If Chrome continues to get faster and better, the number of users will only increase. According to Linus Upson, VP Engineering and Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management, users love the fact that Chrome is fast and that is why they use it.

UPDATE: Lifehacker put Crankshaft to the test and has some interesting results that you may want to check out.

Tags: Google, Chrome, Browser, V8, JavaScript engine, Crankshaft
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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