“The Web is a changing environment however, and tomorrow’s advanced web applications will require faster ECMAScript execution, so we have now taken on the challenge to once again develop the fastest ECMAScript engine on the market,” says Opera core team member Jens Lindström.
Carakan makes improvements in three areas. First, a switch to a register-based bytecode instruction set rather than a stack-based one, which Lindström says speeds things up because “fewer instructions need to be executed, and less data needs to be copied.” Second, Carakan will include native code generation for some ECMAScript programs and functions. Finally, the new engine will do automatic object classification.
Though Opera isn’t ready to release any benchmarks showing Carakan’s performance against the competition, Lindström says that without any generated native code, Carakan is about two and a half times faster than the current engine in the Opera 10 Alpha according to the SunSpider benchmark. The native code generation isn’t ready for broad benchmarking, but in some individual tests, it is between 5 and 50 times faster. Not too shabby.