After Edge leveraged the Windows segment heap memory improvements with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, now Google Chrome wants to take a similar route. According to a new commit, Google Chrome is also working to replace the legacy heap with the segment heap, which is compatible with Windows 10, version 2004.
Chrome to consume less memory
Adding support for the segment heap on Google Chrome would “save hundreds of MB in the browser and Network Service utility processes, among others, on some machines.”
“Adding a SegmentHeap entry to the chrome.exe manifest will tell recent-enough versions of Windows (20-04 and beyond) to opt chrome.exe into using the segment heap instead of the legacy heap.”
“Details are in the bug but it appears that the default Windows heap is tuned for server workloads where throughput is what matters most, and Chromium (especially due to its multi-process architecture) also has to care about memory footprint.”
Earlier, Microsoft stated Edge consumes remarkably less memory than before. Thanks to Windows 10, version 2004, the segment heap memory improvements have now been extended to Win32 applications that promise significantly better memory management than before.
Microsoft’s early internal testing revealed that when browsing with Edge, Windows 10 2004 devices show a memory usage reduction of up to 27 percent. However, performances vary depending on configuration and usage.
What is Windows Segment Heap Memory?
The segment heap is a modern heap implementation that replaces the legacy heap on Windows 10 machines. The segment heap enables developers to reduce the overall memory consumption. The ‘heapType’ element is compatible with Windows 10, version 2004, and later.
“We could enable it now but that would cause build warnings. Therefore enabling it is blocked on a switch to the Windows 10.0.19041.0 SDK which is currently blocked on some mysterious build failures,” Google engineer notes.
The ‘heapType’ element also overrides the default heap implementation for the Win32 heap functions. As a result, after Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, we can safely assume more Win32 applications will want to leverage these newly-added Windows segment heap memory improvements in the future.
Google will start implementing this feature once Chrome is built using the Windows 10.0.19041.0 (20-04) SDK.