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Friday, February 10, 2012
Chrome 18 Brings GPU Accelerating 2D Canvas And Enables 3D Content For Older GPUs

The Chrome 18.0.1025.11 Beta version, available for download for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome Frame, brings 2D Canvas improvements and a software rasterizer to Chrome.

For most Windows and Mac users, the Chrome team enabled GPU-accelerated rendering of 2D Canvas content, so that canvas-based games and animations run faster and feel smoother. You can go to chrome://gpu to see which features are being accelerated. This is a tricky area to optimize, due to the wide variety of hardware and operating system configurations found in the wild. Chrome's developers have made a series of small improvements to the way this acceleration works in the latest release, and they are seeking feedback on it from their Beta users.

At the same time, many people with older GPUs and graphics drivers have not been able to experience the rich content provided by technologies such as WebGL. Chrome is now able to display 3D content via SwiftShader, a software rasterizer Google licensed from TransGaming, Inc. Although SwiftShader won't perform as well as a real GPU, it will be an improvement for many of users on older operating systems such as Windows XP.

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