Node.js 16 was released on April 20, adding Apple Silicon binaries and additional stable APIs to the popular JavaScript runtime.

The release is the first to ship with prebuilt binaries for Apple Silicon. While Node.js will provide separate tarballs for the Intel and Arm architectures, the MacOS installer will be shipped as a “fat” (multi-architecture) binary. Node.js 16 follows the October 2020 release of Node.js 15.

Other new features and improvements in Node.js 16:

  • The Timers Promises API is stable, providing an alternative set of timer functions that return Promise objects, removing the need to use util.promisify().
  • The Google V8 9.0 JavaScript/WebAssembly engine serves as the underpinning of Node.js 16, upgraded from V8 8.6 in Node.js 15. The upgrade features the ECMAScript RegExp Match Indices, which provide the start and end indices of the captured string.
  • Features produced as part of recent Node.js 15 releases that are now in Node.js 16 include Node-API version 8, Stable Source Maps v3, and web platform atob (buffer.atob(data)) and btoa (buffer.btoa(data)) implementations for compatibility with legacy web platform APIs.
  • Notable deprecations include the runtime deprecation of access to process.binding() for a number of core modules, such as process.binding(‘http_parser’).

Node.js 16 is downloadable from nodejs.org or by using Node Version Manager on Unix to install with nvm install 16. Node.js 16 replaces Node.js 15 as the current release line, with Node 16 staying as the current release for the next six months and then promoted to long-term support in October. Once promoted to long-term support, the release will be designated with the codename, “Gallium.” End-of-life for Node.js 16.x is slated for April 30, 2024.

Node.js 12, meanwhile, will be supported until April 2022 and Node.js 14 will remain in long-term support until April 2023.

On Linux-based platforms, the minimum GCC (Gnu C Compiler) level for building Node.js 16 will be GCC 8.3. Details about supported toolchains and compilers can be found in the BUILDING.md file.

Node.js now shares the spotlight in the JavaScript runtime realm with Deno, which is led by Node.js creator Ryan Dahl and intended to provide a more secure alternative to Node.js. Deno 1.9 was published April 13.

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