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New Chrome removes X11 dependence

by on09 March 2015

Freon graphics stack gets an airing

Chrome OS 41 has been been updated to Google's new "Freon" graphics stack and removes X11 dependencies from Google's world.

Freon aims for better performance, reduced power consumption, and a smaller Chrome OS binary.

Under the Freon driver model, the Chrome browser talks directly to the kernel's DRM/KMS APIs and is also communicating directly with OpenGL ES for the 3D drawing functionalities.

This functionality is mostly for the Intel Chromebooks while the Samsung ARM Chromebooks should receive similar treatment later.

Freon-supported devices currently include the Chromebook Pixel, Acer C720, ASUS Chromebox, HP Chromebox, LG Chromebase, Acer Chromebox, and Dell Chromebox.

The initial limitations are due to being dependent upon DRM/KMS support by the graphics hardware.

Among the benefits of Freon is supporting hardware overlays for compositing, partial screen update support, zero-copy texture uploads, external display device improvements, and reduced input in the latency stack.


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