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Mozilla Releases Multi-Process Firefox Upgrade

It may have taken eight years to get here, but Mozilla has finally released a version of Firefox with the multiple process technology available in other popular web browsers. Dubbed Firefox 54, Mozilla claims it is the fastest browser it has ever released, and outperforms Chrome when it comes to speed and resource consumption.

Previous versions of Firefox used a single process to run multiple tabs in a browser, unlike browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, and Edge, which use several independent processes. That meant that having a single tab open to a complex Web page running animations or doing some other complex task could slow down all of the other open tabs.

Divide and Conquer

That problem has become more acute for users over time, as the complexity of the average Web page continues to increase. The average Web site today contains 2.5 MB of data. Mozilla?EU?s solution is to split the workload into as many as four separate processes all running Web page content across open tabs.

The company is calling the change in architecture, which it described as the single most significant change in the Firefox code in its history, “Electrolysis.”

“With today’s release, Firefox uses up to four processes to run web page content across all open tabs. This means that a heavy, complex web page in one tab has a much lower impact on the responsiveness and speed in other tabs,” Mozilla said in a statement today. “By separating the tabs into separate processes, we make better use of the hardware on your computer, so Firefox can deliver you more of the web you love, with less waiting.”

Shorter Pipeline for Future Upgrades

Mozilla said the new version of Firefox runs faster and crashes less than previous versions, particularly on systems with less RAM. The company said it tried…

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