Last year in December, Mozilla announced its collaboration with Qualcomm to create an ARM64-native build of Firefox targeting Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 ‘Always On, Always Connected’ PCs. Yesterday, it shared that this Firefox build is now available in their Beta release channel.
This release builds on top of Firefox Quantum, which is designed to efficiently work on multiple core processors. With this release, Mozilla aims to take this multi-paradigm one step further by making Firefox Quantum efficient for octa-core CPUs available from Qualcomm. To give users “a fast, personal, and convenient experience”, it takes advantage of Rust’s safe concurrency property to divide browsing tasks across the cores
Qualcomm processors are being widely used in smartphones. At the Snapdragon Tech Summit 2018, the company shared that they are now moving into the PC space. They introduced the Always on, Always Connected PC category that aims to provide users smartphone-like features on a PC. These features include continuous connectivity and lightning-fast LTE speeds, multi-day battery life, location awareness, among others. Along with this, Qualcomm also announced that they are working with developers to bring a wide range of software applications that will be natively supported in these PCs and one of them was Firefox.
Chuck Harmston, Mozilla’s senior product manager for the Firefox Arm project, said, “One of the most compelling features of Windows laptops using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset is the battery life it enables, measured in days, rather than hours. We’ve been working hard to take advantage of that, offloading discrete tasks to small chips to use less power … This was a big project that spanned the Firefox organization, touching almost every part of the browser.”
Developers are encouraged to try this latest Firefox beta release on their Snapdragon Windows 10 devices and submit bug and crash reports to Mozilla.
To know more, check out the official announcement by Mozilla.