What's New in WebGPU (Chrome 122)

François Beaufort
François Beaufort

The number of WebGPU features might seem a little light this time, but major advancements are just around the corner! Next releases will include features like DP4a, read-only and read-write storage textures, separate stencil and depth aspect control, rendering to 3D texture slices, and shader compilation improvements.

In the meantime, learn how to supercharge your Web AI model testing with WebGPU and WebGL support in Headless Chrome and why WebGPU may be disabled or not working in Chrome.

Expand reach with compatibility mode (feature in development)

WebGPU aligns well with modern graphics APIs (Vulkan, Metal, and D3D12), but some devices lack support for those. This limits WebGPU's accessibility, especially on platforms like Windows (31% of Chrome users lack D3D11.1+), Android (23% lack Vulkan 1.1+), and ChromeOS (Vulkan adoption on the rise).

The Chrome team is working on a compatibility mode in WebGPU to address this by offering a slightly restricted version of WebGPU that works on older APIs like D3D11 and OpenGL ES. This will expand WebGPU's potential user base.

Importantly, applications using compatibility mode remain fully valid WebGPU applications. Devices without compatibility mode support will seamlessly default to the core WebGPU adapter, ensuring broad usability.

Diagram of WebGPU compatibility mode.
WebGPU compatibility mode expanded reach.

Check out the proposal and comment if you have questions.

Increase maxVertexAttributes limit

The maximum number of attributes in total across buffers when creating a GPURenderPipeline is 16 by default. It is now possible to request up to 30 by using the maxVertexAttributes limit when supported. See the following example and issue dawn:2223.

const adapter = await navigator.gpu.requestAdapter();

if (adapter.limits.maxVertexAttributes < 30) {
  // When the desired limit isn't supported, take action to either fall back to
  // a code path that does not require the higher limit or notify the user that
  // their device does not meet minimum requirements.
}

// Request highest limit of max vertext attributes.
const device = await adapter.requestDevice({
  requiredLimits: { maxVertexAttributes: 30 },
});

Dawn updates

A new instance toggle called "expose_wgsl_experimental_features" has been added to make the instance expose only the experimental WGSL features but not the unsafe ones, so that safe experimental WGSL features can be used without the need to enable the "allow_unsafe_apis" toggle. See issue dawn:2260.

Recent improvements to the Dawn bindings for Node.js include the following:

  • GPUSupportedFeatures::getSize() has been added.
  • GPUAdapter staleness was implemented.
  • GPUInternalError is now properly reported for devices.
  • Attributes are now enumerable.

This covers only some of the key highlights. Check out the exhaustive list of commits.

What's New in WebGPU

A list of everything that has been covered in the What's New in WebGPU series.

Chrome 122

Chrome 121

Chrome 120

Chrome 119

Chrome 118

Chrome 117

Chrome 116

Chrome 115

Chrome 114

Chrome 113