Google Chrome 94 Beta Features WebGPU and Apple Metal
In the recent announcement of Google Chrome 94 beta release, the next update to Google’s desktop browser, according to 9to5Mac. In Chrome 94 beta, Google added support for the new WebGPU API replacement of WebGL/WebGL2 and also added support for Apple’s Metal API.
According to the Google description, WebGPU is a more advanced Web graphics API that can access GPU hardware to bring better performance to the rendering interface of websites and Web applications.
The main difference between WebGPU and other Web graphics acceleration APIs is that the new API is based on device native technologies such as Apple Metal, Microsoft Direct3D, or the open Vulkan standard. With new WebGPU implementation, Web developers more easily create Web Apps and Games with enhanced graphics performance.
The WebGPU API is the successor to the WebGL and WebGL2 graphics APIs for the Web. It provides modern features such as “GPU compute” as well as lower overhead access to GPU hardware and better, more predictable performance. This is an improvement over the existing WebGL interfaces, which were designed for drawing images but could only be repurposed for other kinds of computations with great effort.Google
According to Google, WebGPU exposes modern computer graphics capabilities, specifically Direct3D 12, Metal, and Vulkan, for performing rendering and computation operations on a graphics processing unit (GPU). Advantages of WebGPU over earlier technologies include:
- Separating resource management, work preparation, and submission to the GPU.
- Pipeline states that function similarly to OS APIs.
- Binding groups that allow graphics drivers to perform needed preparations in advance of rendering.
Apple’s Metal is an API introduced in 2014 to provide low-level access to GPU hardware for iOS, macOS, and tvOS apps. In other words, apps can access the GPU without overloading the CPU, which was one of the limitations of older APIs like OpenGL.
Metal provides a platform-optimized, low-overhead API for developing the latest 3D pro applications and amazing games using a rich shading language with tighter integration between graphics and compute programs. To help you do more while managing ever more complex shader code, Metal adds an unparalleled suite of advanced GPU debugging tools to help you realize the full potential of your graphics code.Apple
The final consumer-ready Chrome browser with pre-activated WebGPU and WebCodecs is not expected to be enabled by default for all Chrome users until early 2022, pointed out by The Verge.