Node.js 16 Adds Apple Silicon Support
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Node.js, the JavaScript runtime, is available with built-in support for Apple Silicon for the first time. The new release also improves its support for Promises, and has the updated 9.0 release of the V8 JavaScript engine.

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform asynchronous event driven JavaScript runtime built on Chrome's JavaScript engine. It uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O mode and executes JavaScript code outside web browsers.


The new release is the first that ships with prebuilt binaries for Apple Silicon. The developers say that while they’ll be providing separate tarballs for the Intel (darwin-x64) and ARM (darwin-arm64) architectures the macOS installer (.pkg) will be shipped as a ‘fat’ (multi-architecture) binary.

The Node.js team says that the new version of the V8 JavaScript engine provides some performance tweaks and improvements. One of the improvements is the inclusion of ECMAScript RegExp Match Indices, which provide the start and end indices of the captured string. The indices array is available via the .indices property on match objects when the regular expression has the /d flag.

In practical terms, the most useful addition is that the Timers Promises API has been declared as stable in the new version. It provides an alternative set of timer functions that return Promise objects, removing the need to use util.promisify().

The other improvements have mainly already been recently added to Node.js 15, including an experimental implementation of the standard Web Crypto API; npm7; and a stable AbortController implementation based on the AbortController Web API.

Node.js 16 is downloadable now. It will be the ‘Current’ release for the next 6 months and then promoted to Long-term Support (LTS) in October 2021.


More Information

Node.js Foundation Homepage

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 April 2021 )