Chrome 7 Will Get 60 Times Faster, Google Says

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Microsoft's hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 9 may be dominating the headlines this week, but Chrome isn't waiting around for the dust to settle.

Not only did Google release a slew of patches affecting various vulnerabilities in the current version of the browser on Tuesday, but it also announced that new GPU acceleration advances in the upcoming version 7 are achieving speeds 60 times faster than in version 6.

Chrome has traditionally been considered the browser to beat when it comes to speed.

"This system picks the best graphics API to use on each OS that Chromium supports: Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS and Linux," Google software engineers James Robinson and Gregg Tavares wrote on the Chromium Blog.

"These early numbers show up to 60x speed improvement over the current version of Google Chrome," they added. "With Google Chrome's fast release cycles, we expect to be able to get these enhancements to users quickly and add new performance improvements over time."

The latest beta version of Mozilla's Firefox 4 also uses hardware acceleration for faster speeds.

3D Graphics

In addition to rapid advances in Chrome's 2D graphics performance, however, Google is also working on 3D graphics capabilities.

"We're excited to give developers fast 2D graphics, but we think truly hardware accelerating graphics on the Web means giving developers access to a programmable 3D graphics pipeline with WebGL," Robinson and Tavares explained. "With WebGL and 3D CSS, developers can create modern games, impressive photo galleries, 3D data visualizations, virtual environments, and whatever else they can dream up."

A video on YouTube demonstrates Chrome's upcoming 3D capabilities in action.

A developer version of Chrome 7 is now available, with a stable release expected later this fall.

10 Security Patches

The 10 security patches Google released this week for Chrome 6, meanwhile, addressed one critical flaw in the Mac version along with six considered high-priority, including one unique to the Linux version. Three vulnerabilities were considered low-priority.

Through the Chromium Security Research Program, Google offers users, developers and researchers bounties of up to $3,133 for reporting a single bug. This time, Google handed out six $500 awards and one worth $1,000.

The resulting version--Google Chrome 6.0.472.59--has now been released to the Stable and Beta channels for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk.

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