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Google Chrome 18 Stable is Up for Download, Brings GPU Acceleration

Google always beats its competitors on speed when it comes to Internet browsing and the latest stable version of Chrome, number 18, extends the principle a little further. The features list contains improvements such as hardware graphical acceleration for certain technologies and support for low-end platforms.

In other words, Chrome 18 comes with a boost in speed for HTML5's Canvas component for bi-dimensional designs, shortening the loading process for websites that make use of it. This acceleration can be experienced on both Windows and Mac OS X running computers, but Linux has not yet been included in the lineup.

These visual improvements can also be seen partially on older configurations, with Chrome now using TransGaming's SwiftShader to run WebGL 3D applications on graphic cards that wouldn't support them under normal conditions. This results in most of the workload falling on the shoulders of the main processor, for systems that have integrated Intel video boards or still use Windows XP as operating system.

It goes without saying that performance will be slower on the above-stated machines, but users can now enjoy content that was previously out of bounds. Most of these features were available starting with the beta release, but it took developers several weeks to add the finishing touches.

The final and stable version of Chrome 18 is available to download from the official website and it's compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Chrome Frame and Linux. Users are urged to update for bug fixing reasons also.

Source: ChromeReleaseBlog