Understanding V8 vs Node vs Chrome

Shouvik Bhuiyan
1 min readFeb 25, 2019

V8 is an open-sourced javaScript engine developed by the chromium project. V8 compiles javascript directly into native machine code before running it and during runtime the code is further optimized and re-optimized dynamically, based on heuristics of the code’s execution profile.

There are many javascript engines like SpiderMonkey, Chakra etc. But, V8 is one of the most popular Javascript engines and two of the most famous users of this engine is Node and Chrome. Both are actually the containers of V8, and extend and enhance the functionalities of V8.

V8 engine is written using C++ and is an open-source project. Any user can import v8 code in their C++ project and extend or use its functionalities accordingly. The core of chrome and Node is written in C++ as well, so internally they import V8 code and add any additional functional code on top of that.

V8 engine does not support asynchronous calls by default. Containers like Node and chrome Browser have implemented async functions using event loop and used it on top of V8 engine. Also, these containers enable the functionality to read and write and to make network calls using https.

Chrome being a browser has lot other functionalities like rendering HTML and CSS, which in no way is related to V8 engine, but the core part of chrome is using v8 as the javascript engine.

Other famous users of V8 is Electra and Nativescript. Both are containers of V8 and used for standalone and native app development respectively.