WebGPU Is Coming To Supercharge Chrome For 3D Gaming And 3X Faster AI Performance

A pile of Google Chrome logos.
Google is currently testing a Chrome browser API that promises to open up "a new dawn for web graphics" as well as give AI a serious kick in the pants. It's called WebGPU and it's been in development for several years, according to Google. In a blog post, Google says WebGPU is now available by default in the latest beta version of Chrome (v113), which means a public roll out is right around the bend.

"WebGPU is a new API for the web, which exposes modern hardware capabilities and allows rendering and computation operations on a GPU, similar to Direct3D 12, Metal, and Vulkan. Unlike the WebGL family of APIs, WebGPU offers access to more advanced GPU features and provides first-class support for general computations on the GPU," Google explains.

WebGPU demo of a battle-damaged sci-fi helmet.
Three.js demo showing a battle-damaged helmet (Chrome Canary)

In plain English, the WebGPU API allows web app developers to more closely tap into your system's GPU. Google describes this initial release as a "building block for future updates and enhancements" to ultimately enable more advanced graphics features.

"The Chrome team also plans to provide deeper access to shader cores for even more machine learning optimizations and additional ergonomics in WGSL, the WebGPU Shading Language," Google says.

Babylon demo in Chrome.
Babylon.js demo with full WebGPU support (Chrome Canary)

This could have a big impact on 3D applications and browser-based gaming. It's not solely about graphics and gaming, though. Google further claims its new web graphics API offers more than three times improvements in machine learning model inferences.

If true, this could be an even bigger deal than the potential for gaming. The wave of AI chatbots like Google Bard and Microsoft's Bing integration don't lean heavily on your system's hardware. WebGPU paves a path to giving developers more flexibility in how to power even more advanced AI tools.

It will inevitably take some time for the WebGPU API to pay dividends, but it's here (in beta form) for ChromeOS devices with Vulkan support, Windows devices with Direct3D 12 support, and macOS (expanded support for Linux and Android are on the horizon).