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Adobe Bringing GPU & Hardware Acceleration to Flash

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Flash is something of a double edged sword: we all want the added functionality it can bring but at the same time it can cause a severe performance hit, especially on low powered or mobile devices. So here's a logical solution...

Adobe is working with both nVidia and Broadcom in an effort to speed up its Flash platform. With the former it is looking to enable GPU acceleration for Adobe Flash Player and with the latter it hopes to enable hardware accelerated playback of HD based Flash video content on Atom systems. Win, Win.

Looking at Flash Player first, this will be updated to allow GPU acceleration across the range of nVidia graphics chipsets - including Tegra - which would not only reduce the strain on older nVidia equipped desktops and laptops but also make the netbook Ion platform even more compelling. With Tegra in the loop Flash on MIDs and smartphones should become an extremely viable proposition.

As for Broadcom it hopes to boost Atom Flash video performance in Broadcom Crystal HD featured netbooks to accelerate HD content across sites such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer, CBS, Pandora.tv and more. Broadcom also expects the playback to consume very little system power and low CPU utilisation. Broadcom Crystal HD specified netbooks are slowly appearing now - the HP Mini 110XP being the first.

Adobe has yet to put a date on its work with nVidia but we should see the fruits of its labour with Broadcom in the first half of 2010.

Perhaps Flashblock won't be the first thing I install on Firefox after all...

Update: Nothing official from nVidia yet, but we've been told to expect a launch "after the summer". With the UK climate that could be any day now...

Links:
Adobe nVidia Press Release
Adobe Broadcom Press Release

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