Deno Adds WebGPU Support
Written by Ian Elliot   
Thursday, 11 March 2021

Deno, the JavaScript and TypeScript runtime from the creator of Node.js, has been updated in a new release that adds experimental support for WebGPU.

Deno uses V8 and is built in Rust. It is described as secure by default as it has no file, network, or environment access, unless explicitly enabled.  Deno was created by the same developer who created node.js - Ryan Dahl - and its name is a rearrangement of the letters in node.


While Deno is based on TypeScript rather than JavaScript, the TypeScript compiler sits on top of a V* JavaScript engine so it's still server-side JavaScript, even if you are writing TypeScript.

We first met Deno back in 2018 when Ryan Dahl gave a talk at JSConf EU about the mistakes he thought he'd made with node.js and introduced the, then experimental deno, as its successor, see Node.js - Even Its Creator Thinks Its Flawed or watch the video: 

Deno reached its 1.0.0 release in May 2020, exactly two years after that presentation and has had minor releases on a regular basis, with Dino 1.7 in January 2021 being one of the largest releases to date, adding cross compilation and 60% smaller binaries for deno compile, a DNS resolver API, support for data URLs in import statements and web workers.

Less than two months later come Deno 1.8 containing:

"a massive amount of new features and stabilizations".

These start with experimental support for the WebGPU API, which the developers say is paving a path towards out-of-the-box GPU accelerated machine learning in Deno.

The WebGPU API gives developers a low level, high performance, cross architecture way to program GPU hardware from JavaScript. As the effective successor to WebGL on the Web, support is currently being added to Firefox, Chromium, and Safari, even though the spec has not yet been finalized. The support in Deno gives developers access to GPU rendering and general purpose GPU compute from within Deno.

The next improvement is the enabling of built-in internationalization APIs. In practical terms, this means that all the JavaScript international APIs are now available within Deno without developers needing to do anything specific.

Another improvement is a revamp of coverage tooling. In previous releases coverage collection and reporting were activated by a single command. This has now been split into coverage collection and coverage reporting, and coverage now supports outputting lcov reports.

Other changes include the stabilizing of import maps, which have been updated to match the latest revision of the specification; and the addition of support for fetching private modules.


More Information

Deno Website

deno on GitHub

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 March 2021 )