Recent Microsoft and Intel primers on Internet Explorer 9's accelerated graphics point to snappier Web browsing.
In a blog posted on Friday, Microsoft spelled out what it says are the merits of "full vs. partial acceleration," while Intel, in a new video, is claiming IE9 acceleration on its Core i series of chips, which will include new Sandy Bridge processors.
Graphics chip-based acceleration (Microsoft calls it "hardware acceleration") shifts some tasks from the main processor (CPU) to the graphics processor (GPU). Mainstream GPUs pack in dozens or even hundreds of processing cores. While each GPU core delivers a tiny fraction of the processing power of a CPU core, combined, they can tackle certain tasks much more quickly and efficiently than a CPU. Intel, for its part, has improved the built-in graphics on its Core i series of processors and will integrate its fastest graphics function yet onto the CPU in its upcoming Sandy Bridge processor.