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Adobe working with Nvidia/Broadcom to bring hardware-acceleration to Flash

June 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm


Adobe FlashAdobe is working hard behind the scenes with both Nvidia and Broadcom to ensure that Adobe Flash gets GPU acceleration. They will look to upgrade Adobe’s plugin resulting in smooth playback of HD flash video as well as lower CPU usage.

Without Flash acceleration, the Intel Atom processors inside netbooks are often incapable of playing large Flash videos from video sites. However, when GPU acceleration is enabled, viewing the likes of YouTube HD and Hulu will become more bearable on netbooks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this will be hitting any time soon, with Broadcom talking about H1 2010 for Flash Player support.

On the Nvidia side, enabling GPU acceleration in Flash will scale from handhelds using NVIDIA’s Tegra line up through to full-size desktop cards. No timeline was given on when this will become available on Nvidia products.

Disappointingly, it looks like this news will only benefit hardware based on the Nvidia Tegra platform or Atom netbooks which has Broadcom’s Crystal HD video accelerator add-on (through an Expresscard slot or Mini PCI-E port). Either way, it looks like it’ll be a long time before this becomes a mainstream feature.

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