Recently, Google accepted responsibility for a kernel panic issue on Apple’s new MacBook Air, which was apparently being caused by a graphics resource leak in its Chrome browser.
The admittance has come after a number of users who bought the newly released MacBook Airs began reporting that the machines were frequently crashing. This issue was brought to the limelight as Gizmodo noted last week that it was experiencing issues with its own MacBook Airs and subsequently pinpointed the issue to one being caused by the Chrome web browser.
According to someone on Apple’s Support Communities forums, a Genius technician mentioned that the problem was “the specific combination of Intel HD 4000 chips + flash + Chrome.” Reportedly, Apple was aware of the issue and was planning to release a patch soon. Google issued a statement on Thursday, 28 June 2012, acknowledging that it had found a “leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser” that had been causing a kernel panic on the new MacBook Airs. The search giant claimed to be working to “find and fix” the cause of the leak while issuing an auto-update release that will temporarily disable Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) acceleration features in Chrome.
Given below is Google’s statement to Gizmodo below:
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.
Did you experience your MacBook Air crashing? Tell us what did you see.