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Google may halve memory consumption in Chrome 55 update

Looking to further streamline the multi-platform browser's performance, Google is preparing a new version of Chrome that should substantially lower RAM consumption.

Chrome 55 will employ a new JavaScript engine with a much smaller memory footprint, CNET noted. In early testing, heap memory is down about 50 percent on average, while zone memory figures are roughly 40 percent lower.

Real-world performance will vary from website to website, but the Chrome team implementing the new technology commented that it saw significant improvements for sites like Reddit, Twitter, and the New York Times.

The finished version of Chrome 55 is scheduled to go live Dec. 6, but people wanting earlier access should be able to get it through Google's beta channel. One concern in future updates is improving the browser's performance on devices with less than 1 gigabyte of RAM.

Chrome was once an infamously resource-hungry browser on Macs, performing far worse than on Windows systems. In recent times, however, Google has been able to overcome some obstacles on the platform, making it more competitive with Apple's Safari.