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Google's latest data-squeezing algorithm is coming to Chrome

The Brotli algorithm will be especially helpful for mobile users.

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Google is no Silicon Valley startup, but it's just as intent on creating compression algorithms as the fictional "Pied Piper." The search giant is about to unleash its latest algorithm, called "Brotli," onto the Chrome browser. The software compression team first revealed the algorithm in September, saying that it was 20 to 26 percent more efficient than Zopfli, an algorithm it launched only three years before. Google says that Brotli is a "whole new data format" that squeezes in more data than other compression formats, while decompressing at comparable speeds.

As a result, "the smaller compressed size allows for better space utilization and faster page loads," according to the team. The only downside is that squeezing that data is slow, but developers generally do that with static elements ahead of time. Google added that, it "would give additional benefits to mobile users, such as lower data transfer fees and reduced battery use," and that it would be particularly useful for web font compression. So when, might you ask, will the crunched down data be flowing to your smartphone, tablet or PC? Google said that the code is in "intent to ship" mode, so it's likely to appear in the next version of Chrome.

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