Chrome 59 sticks a Turbofan and a new Ignition on its V8

If that headline has left you scratching your head, don't worry—I wouldn't have gotten it 12 hours ago. The short version is that Chrome 59 comes with upgraded parts for its V8 JavaScript engine. The Ignition interpreter and TurboFan optimizing compiler have both been part of V8 for a while, but now the stewards of Chrome have decided that the new parts are ready for prime-time.

Google's Chrome web browser owes a lot of its popularity to the stellar performance of the V8 JavaScript engine for rendering script-heavy websites like Facebook and Gmail. Since 2010, V8 has used the "Full-codegen" baseline compiler and an optimizing compiler called Crankshaft to work its magic. Those components were quite capable, but like any old codebase, they've been manipulated and extended far beyond their original design intentions and became tricky to improve and difficult to maintain. The V8 team says that by replacing Full-codegen and Crankshaft with Ignition and Turbofan, V8 will become faster and easier to adapt as new Javascript features emerge over time.

That's great for the engine's developers, but what about end-users? Well, we get to enjoy the fruits of the V8 team's labors, too. According to the V8 Project's blog, Chrome 59 can be 30% faster running Javascript on a Nexus 5X, compared to the previous release. The gains on faster machines are less profound, but the V8 blog still shows a Linux desktop (of unspecified hardware) finishing up to 10% faster than the previous version. The post provides some synthetic numbers too; the new V8 core improves Speedometer and AcmeAir performance by around 10%. To top if off, RAM consumption while running Javascript is decreased—the Chrome teams says that V8 should use 5% to 10% less memory on "desktop and high-end mobile devices."

If you use Chrome, hit your "About Google Chrome" option in the browser's Help menu to ensure you're on version 59, or to ask your browser to update if you aren't. Even if you don't use Chrome, the V8 Javascript engine is also found in Opera, Vivaldi, Couchbase, Node.js, and the Electron framework, so these changes are probably coming to a PC or a server near you.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Fast and hard to maintain? Was it written in Assembly?

    • Laykun
    • 2 years ago

    I can’t wait till these are rolled into node.js, my code needs to run faster o.o

    We use node.js primarily for our video game support infrastructure, it does things from matching players, spawning servers to collecting metrics and item crafting. I don’t think we could have delivered any of these services on time with something like C++, the plethora of already available open-source libraries is just a boon for devs.

    With the introduction of typescript node.js has become super productive for our small team and it’s really pleasure to work with.

    • CuttinHobo
    • 2 years ago

    How long until Facebook optimization is taken to the hardware level? Special SIMD instructions to tackle even the most complex fake news posts! Get invited to play Farmville even faster than ever before!

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      That guy that they have that just changes stuff for giggles as a job would break compatibility in no time.

        • Peldor
        • 2 years ago

        That’s what Facebook Programmable Gate Arrays were invented for! Embrace the collective.

        The Many sings to us.

          • RAGEPRO
          • 2 years ago

          YOUR SONG IS NOT OURS

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      [url<]https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/fpga/devices.html[/url<] [url<]http://www.eweek.com/servers/intel-begins-shipping-xeon-chips-with-fpga-accelerators[/url<] [quote<]The executive announced in November 2015 that Intel planned to release the first of its Xeon chips with the FPGAs early this year, adding that the first would ship to the largest hyperscale cloud companies, such as Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Baidu.[/quote<]

    • cygnus1
    • 2 years ago

    59 appears to be broken for access through certain proxies. Gonna have to wireshark it to see what it’s doing.

    Edit: so after some troubleshooting, that shiny new JavaScript front end appears to not like PAC files or at least ours. Gonna be a bad release for corporate environments.

      • FakeAlGore
      • 2 years ago

      Ouch. Hopefully that gets hotfixed quickly.

        • cygnus1
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, if anybody knows anything about this error, let me know:

        PAC_JAVASCRIPT_ERROR
        –> line_number = 0
        –> message = “Uncaught RangeError: Maximum call stack size exceeded”

          • expatdanno
          • 2 years ago

          I am on the V8 team. Please file a bug on the Chromium bug tracker (crbug.com/new) and include your PAC file if possible so that we can try to identify and fix the problem. Thanks!

            • cygnus1
            • 2 years ago

            Thanks expatdanno, I did submit it to the bug tracker. [url<]https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=731861[/url<] After working out a solution, it's definitely a regression in V8 given the same PAC works in Chrome v58 as well as IE11 and FF52 and other tools such as Fiddler. I'm not a programmer though, so no idea how you'd fix it and keep the other optimizations done to V8 that are using more stack space. Personally, I'll take the optimizations and live with having to keep sections of the PAC file under a certain size. I do wonder if the same issue could impact the JS of websites. Can't think of any that would have such large If comparisons in their code, but I suppose it could happen.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    Is the rollout staggered? Saw it on Windows, not on a Chromebook, not on an Android tablet, at least last night.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      Yes, their releases are almost always staggered. They usually say “over the next couple weeks.”

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Ah, cool. Mostly interested for the Acer Chromebook 14, I’m on the fence about reselling it, but 30% faster would add some staying power. And if they ever add those android apps promised for last year.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Just got it pushed to the CB14, Speedometer 1.0 went from 17 to 21. Neither great, but that’s an over 20% gain, not bad, the rest is just slow hardware.

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