'Project Quantum' Doubles Firefox's Performance In Latest Beta

Sep 28, 2017, 00:15
'Project Quantum' Doubles Firefox's Performance In Latest Beta

"Firefox has historically run mostly on just one CPU core, but Firefox Quantum takes advantage of multiple CPU cores in today's desktop and mobile devices much more effectively", Mozilla explains on its blog.

Firefox Quantum is the culmination of Firefox's work on what it calls "Project Quantum", its effort to "create a next-generation engine for modern computers". By all accounts, this could provide a big step forward in browser performance, a success Mozilla badly needs if it wishes to claw back some market share from Google Chrome. The updated Firefox should be ready for beta testers now but the automatic upgrade for most users will begin on November 14.

Mozilla has announced its next versions of its Firefox web browser called Firefox Quantum. The company has been working on modernising and rebuilding its Firefox browser for a while now and has finally released what it touts as "version 57" of the Firefox browser. Results vary based on the computer and apps you're actively using, but one thing that's relatively consistent is that Firefox Quantum is about 2X faster than Firefox was a year ago. This is due to Firefox's new multi-process architecture that doesn't isolate every website or extension in its own process and sandbox. This runs quicker than ever across multiple CPU cores instead of a single core.

The look and feel of the browser has also been updated. This can be a good strategy to lower memory usage, but it remains to be seen if it also offers similar security to Chrome in the long term.

While performance improvements are clearly the main part of Firefox 57 beta and the stable version that will come after, there are still plenty of other new features. The new UI includes redesigned menus, square tabs, and a new "Library" that includes all of your bookmarks, downloads, history, and so on. Firefox will also be able to take advantage of high-resolution screens that are now common even on smartphones. Of course, each of these content blocks are optional, and add-ons can completely replace the new tab page.

And to isolate it against the background of previous versions, Firefox 57 the Assembly was given a separate name.

Project Quantum doesn't end with the features enumerated above.

The new Quantum engine is coded in C++ and Rust, just like Gecko, but Rust is Quantum's main language, not C++. As we can see from an older benchmark, it looks quite promising.