Cambridge-based Ekioh this week unveiled Flow, a multithreaded HTML browser specifically designed for multi-core processors that delivers a vastly improved user experience.
Flow’s layout and animation performance is more than double the speed of other browsers on multi-core silicon. This makes it perfect for powering the user interface (UI) on resource-constrained embedded consumer electronics, automotive and industrial systems.
As processing power increases and graphical performance improves, so do consumer expectations of fast, high quality applications. Historically, browsers have automatically benefitted from rises in processing power, but this is no longer the case. When using multi-core silicon, applications can only benefit from headline performance improvements if all the cores and the GPU can be fully utilised. When traditional browser technology is used, product manufacturers miss out on the full benefits of multi-core.
Flow is able to harness the combined computing power of multi-core processors to deliver layout performance that scales with the number of available cores giving a more responsive, smoother and faster UI experience. This is achieved by using a fine grained multithreaded architecture that aligns with the evolution path of multi-core silicon.
Flow also takes a different approach to rendering, by making full use of the GPU. Rather than painting on the CPU, Flow handles all rasterisation on the GPU which is significantly faster and has the additional benefit of freeing up the CPU. Together, with multithreaded layout, these developments provide dramatically improved HTML performance without the need for content re-authoring.
“Flow is the result of many years of research and development into improving browser performance on multi-core architectures,” said Piers Wombwell, CEO at Ekioh. “We have always sought to make the best use of the resources available on constrained devices. Flow is the first browser to bring a high performance scalable multi-core HTML solution to market.”
“Consumers’ first impressions of product quality often come from the UI, and frustration arises when the user experience does not keep pace with expectations,” said Stephen Reeder, Commercial Director at Ekioh. “Multi-core silicon brings performance challenges that threaten to impact the UI, the consumer experience and therefore loyalty. Flow helps overcome these issues, delivering a significant improvement in the dynamic quality and responsiveness of HTML applications.”