WebGPU will enable Chrome browsers to enhance 3D apps, gaming experiences, and machine learning capabilities.
Google has announced the forthcoming rollout of WebGPU, a feature designed to allow Chrome browsers to leverage graphics cards for accelerating games, graphics, and AI applications. Set to be enabled by default in Chrome 113, the feature will be available in a few weeks for Windows PCs (using Direct3D 12), MacOS (Metal), and ChromeOS (Vulkan).
By providing web apps with better access to graphics cards, Google explained that developers will be able to achieve comparable levels of graphics with significantly less code. This advancement has the potential to create new and engaging Chrome browser-based 3D apps, as well as improve the gaming experience.
In addition to enhancing graphics, WebGPU will also enable over three times improvements in machine learning model inferences, according to the company. This development could lead to locally-run machine learning apps, similar to NVIDIA Broadcast’s “eye contact” feature.
Describing the initial release as a “building block for future updates and enhancements,” Google anticipates developers will explore the new feature and create innovative applications. The API has been in development for over six years and is expected to become available for Firefox and Safari in the future. It is also likely to be incorporated into additional operating systems, such as Android. Microsoft Edge often receives features at the same time as Chrome, so it is possible that WebGPU will be supported there as well.
For users who are part of the Chrome Beta track, a demo called Babylon.js is available, which already offers full WebGPU support. This early access allows users to experience the feature and its benefits firsthand, ahead of the official release.