Chromium gets GPU acceleration
Google developers have announced that Chromium, the open source browser on which the company builds the Chrome browser, is getting a GPU graphics overhaul. The development has been driven by the work on developing WebGL and 3D CSS transform support. It involves incorporating a new GPU process into the browser's many-process model which processes rendering requests from other Chromium processes through OpenGL or Direct3D using ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine)$.
With the GPU process in place, the developers are now able to begin accelerating the handling of some of the content in the browser. Pages are divided into multiple layers, with some being rendered on the CPU such as those containing simple text and images and some being rendered on the GPU, such as CSS styled text, images and videos or WebGL or 2D Canvases. The layers are the composited into a single page for display. Currently, the browser does this composition on the CPU, eliminating most of the performance gained with the previous use of the GPU, but if the
--enable-accelerated-compositing flag is used when starting Chromium, the composition will happen within the GPU allowing the performance gains to be realised. A design document explains the new GPU accelerated rendering architecture in more detail.