After numerous reports of the new Macbook Airs crashing when running Google Chrome, a spokesperson for Google got in touch with Gizmodo and confirmed their suspicions. A bug in Google Chrome has indeed been crashing Macbook Airs.
Google’s statement is as follows:
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.
It appears the updated shared graphics chip found in the new Macbook Airs is responsible for the crashes. Further updates on the situation will be available on the Chrome release blog.