Google enables WebGPU by default in Chrome 121

Google enables WebGPU by default in Chrome 121 Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter (@Gadget_Ry) or Mastodon (

Google has enabled WebGPU support by default in the latest version of its Chrome browser, Chrome 121. WebGPU is a new web standard that provides low-level access to GPU hardware for high-performance 3D graphics and general purpose computing using JavaScript APIs. 

WebGPU support is now enabled on devices running Android 12 or later powered by Qualcomm and ARM GPUs. Support will expand to more Android devices in the near future, including those still on Android 11. The rollout will depend on further testing and optimisation across different hardware.

One major improvement is that Chrome now uses Microsoft’s DirectX Compiler (DXC) instead of the FX Compiler (FXC) to compile shaders on Windows devices with DirectX 12 and SM6+ graphics hardware. Initial testing shows DXC provides a 20 percent average increase in shader compilation speeds over FXC.

Chrome 121 also introduces support for timestamp queries, allowing developers to precisely measure GPU command execution down to the nanosecond. This feature is useful for profiling the performance of WebGPU apps. Due to timing attack concerns, the precision is quantised to 100 microseconds by default but can be disabled via a browser flag.

Additionally, shader modules can now omit entry points when creating compute and render pipelines. The entry point will be inferred automatically if only one is defined in the shader code.

On the developer experience side, requestAdapterInfo() now returns detailed information about the memory heaps available to the GPU adapter. This assists developers in anticipating potential memory limitations when allocating resources:

Google notes that WebGPU provides low-overhead access to GPU hardware which unlocks new possibilities for demanding web apps like AAA games, CAD programs, video editors, and more. With default support in Chrome, WebGPU adoption should now accelerate.

(Image Credit: Google)

See also: Open source wins concessions in new EU cyber law

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