Chrome 'Crankshaft' JavaScript Optimizer Is Faster

Thursday Dec 9th 2010 by Keith Vance
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Crankshaft analyzes JavaScript to determine which bits of code are heavily used and which are not. The code that is heavily used with be optimized; the code that is not will be left alone.

News about the latest Google Chrome version 8 has gotten a lot of press, but in all of the coverage, another Google announcement has gone somewhat unnoticed: Crankshaft.

Crankshaft is a new compilation infrastructure for Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine, and it's fast.

"By using aggressive optimizations," explained Google software engineers Kevin Millikin and Florian Schneider, "Crankshaft dramatically improves the performance of compute-intensive JavaScript applications -- often by more than a factor of two!"

The basic idea is to optimize heavily used JavaScript and to not bother with code that is not. So Crankshaft analyzes JavaScript and tries to determine what to optimize and what to leave alone. It's called "adaptive compilation." To do all of this, Crankshaft has four main components: a base compiler, a runtime profiler, an optimizing compiler and deoptimization support.

"V8 with Crankshaft for the 32-bit Intel architecture is available today in the V8 bleeding edge repository and in canary builds of Chrome," the blog post said. "Work on the ARM and 64-bit ports has started."


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