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Google claims 30 percent Chrome speed boost

A new version of Google's V8 JavaScript engine should boost Chrome's page-loading speed by almost a third when the browser encounters JavaScript-heavy pages.

Google has shifted the JavaScript engine that powers its Chrome Web browser into a higher gear.

The company announced Thursday that an update to Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine, combined with a new version of the Webkit browser engine, should improve the loading speed of JavaScript-heavy Web pages by up to 30 percent. The updates will be automatically downloaded to existing copies of Chrome.

JavaScript engines are one of the new fronts in the browser wars, with various vendors touting the performance of their browsers this year in hopes of unseating the competition. Chrome did very well on CNET JavaScript tests earlier this year, besting Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

Google also announced a few other changes to Chrome, including the addition of new features that let you erase embarrassing (or NSFW) Web sites from the most-visited list that appears when you open a new tab in Chrome. And Chrome now has a feature found in many browsers: form autofill.