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Friday, March 01, 2013
Google To Accelerate The Internet With New Compression Algorithm

Google has released 'Zopfli', an open-source data compression algorithm it hopes will make the Internet faster for everyone.

The Zopfli Compression Algorithm, which got its name from a Swiss bread recipe, is an implementation of the Deflate lossless data compression algorithm that creates a smaller output size compared to previous techniques. Most internet browsers support deflate decompression, and it has a wide range of other applications. This means that Zopfli compatible decompression is readily widely available. The smaller compressed size allows for better space utilization, faster data transmission, and lower web page load latencies.

The higher data density is achieved by using more exhaustive compression techniques, which make the compression a lot slower, but do not affect the decompression speed. The exhaustive method is based on iterating entropy modeling and a shortest path search algorithm to find a low bit cost path through the graph of all possible deflate representations.

Google claims that the output generated by Zopfli is typically 3?8% smaller compared to zlib at maximum compression. Written in C for portability, Zopfli is a compression-only library; existing software can decompress the data. Zopfli is bit-stream compatible with compression used in gzip, Zip, PNG, HTTP requests, and others.

Due to the amount of CPU time required - 2 to 3 orders of magnitude more than zlib at maximum quality - Zopfli is best suited for applications where data is compressed once and sent over a network many times, for example, static content for the web.

Zopfli is opensourced at By open sourcing the new algorithm, Google hopes to make the Internet a bit faster.

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