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Initial release2015
Stable release
lzfse-1.0 / 8 May 2017; 2 years ago (2017-05-08)
Repositorylzfse on GitHub
Written inC
Operating systemmacOS, iOS, Linux[1]
Available inC
TypeData compression
License3-clause New BSD License

LZFSE (Lempel–Ziv Finite State Entropy) is an open source lossless data compression algorithm created by Apple Inc.[2]


The name is an acronym for Lempel-Ziv and Finite State Entropy[3] (implementation of asymmetric numeral systems). LZFSE was introduced by Apple at its Worldwide Developer Conference 2015. It shipped with that year's iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 releases.

Apple claims that LZFSE compresses with a ratio comparable to that of zlib (DEFLATE) and decompresses 2–3x faster while using fewer resources, therefore offering higher energy efficiency than zlib. It was aimed for scenarios where decompression speed and rate should be prioritised equally.[3] Part of this energy efficiency was achieved by optimising the algorithm for modern micro-architectures, specifically focusing on arm64.[4] Third-party benchmarking confirms that LZFSE decompresses faster than zlib, but also suggests that many other modern compression algorithms may have more favorable compression algorithm performance characteristics such as density, compression speed and decompression speed by a significant margin.[5]


A reference C library written by Eric Bainville was made available as open source after WWDC 2016.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bainville, Eric (2016-06-07). "LZFSE compression library and command line tool". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-07-04.
  2. ^ Apple Inc. "Data Compression - Compression | Apple Developer Documentation". developer.apple.com. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  3. ^ a b De Simone, Sergio. "Apple Open-Sources its New Compression Algorithm LZFSE". infoq. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  4. ^ Apple Inc. (2015-06-12). "Low Energy, High Performance: Compression and Accelerate - WWDC 2015 - Apple Developer Videos". developer.apple.com. Retrieved 2017-03-05. pdf
  5. ^ "Compression Benchmark". Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  6. ^ "compression_algorithm". Apple Developer Documentation. Apple Inc. Retrieved 2019-08-11.

External links[edit]