Firefox is to get a massive speed increase when it is updated to 3.1, the Mozilla foundation has said.

The new boost, which will come from optimisation and improvements to the way the browser handles JavaScript is likely to make the browser considerably faster than the competition.

In an interview with Ars Technica, Mozilla's VP of engineering Mike Shaver and Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript, have outlined that they hope to make the Firefox browser interpret JavaScript code, which is used across the web to give greater interactivity on websites, as native code like HTML.

The new speed capabilities are thanks to something that "records the path of execution at runtime and generates compiled code that can be used next time that a particular path is reached", basically remembering where it's been before.

Although not expected to be seen until Firefox 4.0, the pair have been working to include a modified version in the current iteration of the browser.

The article also states that Apple is working on a similar system for its Safari browser, with both Mozilla and Apple saying that what they've achieved so far is just scratching the surface.

Although no date has been set for Firefox 3.1 according to the Mozilla wiki it is currently at Alpha 2 stage.

We will keep you posted.