Google’s V8 JavaScript Engine is an open source JavaScript engine that is primarily designed for the Chromium Project. This means that it is tailor-made for Google Chrome and Chromium browsers. The credit for the development of the JavaScript engine goes to Lars Bak, and it was written in C++. Its first version was released with V8 JavaScript Engine and Chrome. Apart from Chrome, it is also used for MongoDB, Node.js, Couchbase all of which are server-side platforms.

What Makes V8 JavaScript Engine Different?

V8 JavaScript Engine has its unique compilation way according to which it compiles JavaScript code directly into native machine code for execution. Therefore, it is quite different from the traditional techniques where bytecode is generated before compilation and execution. Hence, it is faster than them, and the memory resource usage is the least.

Besides, V8 JavaScript Engine optimizes the compiled code dynamically, and some of these optimization techniques include inlining, elision, and inline caching. V8 JavaScript Engine can compile to different architecture in 32-bit as well as 64-bit editions. There is no doubt that V8 Engine translates JavaScript into machine language more efficiently rather than using an interpreter or intermediate code.

Understanding V8 JavaScript Engine –

The basic functioning of a JavaScript Engine is to convert JavaScript code into machine code so that the microprocessors can understand. There are different engines available, and each of them follows some standards. ECMAScript standard is the most followed, and V8 Engine implements ECMAScript ECMA-262. With V8 Engine, you can add your own new features to JavaScript through C++. This is because it is open source and the source code is available on GitHub. Therefore, you can always include new features and functionalities to the Engine for your convenience. Hence, V8 Engine can go beyond ECMAScript Standards.

V8 Engine comes with two compilers, one of which is full-codegen which produces simple machine code. The second one is crankshaft compiler which is a complex compiler that produces optimized code. There are different types of threads present in V8 Engine internally. The main thread fetches code, compiles it and executes it. There are other threads for compiling so that the main thread can optimize in the meantime. There is also a profile threat whose job is to detect the methods that are likely to spend a lot of time so that Crankshaft can optimize them. Besides, there are some garbage collecting threads.

Use Of V8 JavaScript Engine –

Even though V8 JavaScript Engine is originally designed for the web browsers, it is usable as a standalone engine in various independent projects. It was designed to enhance the performance of JavaScript execution in browsers. Apart from its use in Google Chrome, Chromium, Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi, it is used in Couchbase database as well as for Node.js runtime environment. Not just that, it finds its application in Electron software framework present in Atom and VS text editor, NativeScript which is an open source framework for mobile apps and MarkLogic Server which is a document-based database.

Since it is developed in C++, one can embed it into any C++ application. More than Chrome, V8 Engine is more popular in the world for its application in Node.js runtime environment.

Kitty Gupta