Aurora releases its Engine 2.7.0 version

Bringing the NEAR contract ecosystem into Aurora with cross contract calls, and more!

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We are delighted to announce the latest release of Aurora's EVM engine, version 2.7. Over the past couple of months, we have been rigorously testing the Engine to ensure its exactness to Ethereum's virtual machine (in particular, go-Ethereum). Also, we have been working hard on bringing the NEAR contract ecosystem into Aurora with cross-contract calls. Lastly, BN256 precompile has been improved dramatically by utilising NEAR's new BN256 host function.

Fuzz Tests

Ensuring exactness with the Ethereum virtual machine is critical. However, there could be slight inconsistencies with executions which may cause them to differ slightly. For this, we use a "fuzzer", to be able to run random inputs and compare the output between our EVM implementation and geth.

We found slight inconsistencies in extreme edge cases, which yielded unexpected results. In version 2.6, we fixed many of these, and that work persisted into this 2.7 release.

The fuzzer is currently closed source but will require more work and improvements to be added to the code repository shortly.

Ongoing Maintenance

The engine team required time to improve the libraries, enabling a better experience for those contributing to the code and improving the NEAR gas costs. Maintenance periods are always required during a product's lifetime to ensure that it attains the highest quality authors can deliver. This work has been a big focus for us over the last couple of months.

BN256 Improvements

Before this release, we used our own BN256 code for the BN256 precompile. Now that NEAR has released its BN256 functionality, we changed to code to use it. These benefits significantly reduce gas costs for using BN256 precompile functions, which is excellent for enabling privacy functionality to Aurora smart contracts.

Upcoming Cross Contract Calls

Cross Contract Calls AIP-2, the first AIP feature to make it into the project, will enable the ability to call NEAR contracts through the Aurora EVM! While technically, we have released this in 2.7, it currently is only available for testnet. Please try it out and let us know what you think!

Removing the gap between both ecosystems is an essential move for Aurora. It brings unparalleled new strength and abilities to the ecosystem, making it second to none.

Once the team feels confident that it works as intended, it will make its way into mainnet soon.

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