This past week, Gizmodo has higlighted freezing and crashing issues on several of its staff’s new MacBook Air models, linking the problems to Google Chrome. When the staff switched to Apple’s Safari browser, it has eliminated all the issue.
Now, Google has issued a statement to Gizmodo acknowledging that Chrome is the reason for the issues and discussing the steps it is taking to address the issue. Temporarily, Google has disabled Chrome’s GPU acceleration while it works on deploying a permanent solution. Google has also filed a bug report with Apple as such issues should not be able to cause an entire system to freeze or crash.
“We have identified a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X. Work is proceeding to find and fix the root cause of the leak.
The resource leak is causing a kernel panic on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Airs). Radar bug number 11762608 has been filed with Apple regarding the kernel panics, since it should not be possible for an application to trigger such behavior.
While the root cause of the leak is being fixed, we are temporarily disabling some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration features on the affected hardware via an auto-updated release that went out this afternoon (Thursday June 28). We anticipate further fixes in the coming days which will re-enable many or all of these features on this hardware.”
The issue is affecting all systems using Intel HD 4000 graphics, all of Apple’s notebook models released earlier this month may have the issue and owners of the new MacBook Pro models are indeed also reporting the issue.