Chrome 94 Beta adds WebGPU API, Support Apple’s Metal

Chrome 94 Beta was released this week. In addition to regular improvements, this update also adds support for the WebGPU API. In the official version of Chrome 94, it will replace WebGL and support access to Apple’s Metal API. As Google described in a blog post, WebGPU is a new and more advanced Web graphics API that can access GPU hardware, thereby bringing better performance to rendering interfaces in websites and Web applications.

Unlike other Web-based graphics acceleration APIs, the main difference between the WebGPU API is that it is based on the native technology of the device, such as Apple’s Metal, Microsoft’s Direct3D, or the open Vulkan standard. This will make it easier for web developers to create web applications and games with denser graphics.

The WebGPU API is the successor of the Web’s WebGL and WebGL2 graphics API. It provides modern features such as GPU computing and lower-overhead access to GPU hardware and better, more predictable performance. This is an improvement to the existing WebGL interfaces, which are designed for drawing images but can only be reused for other types of calculations with great effort.

Metal is an API launched by Apple in 2014. It provides low-level access to GPU hardware for iOS, macOS, and tvOS applications. In other words, applications can access the GPU without overloading the CPU, which is one of the limitations of old APIs such as OpenGL.

As The Verge pointed out, it may take some time for developers to apply the new WebGPU API to their web projects, as it is still considered an experimental feature. Google said that it is expected that before the beginning of 2022, all Chrome users will not enable WebGPU by default.

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