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Apple, Adobe Work Together to Bring GPU Flash

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

Finally, some GPU love for Flash videos in Mac OS X.

Steve Jobs made it painfully clear today in an open letter that he doesn't have much love for Adobe and its Flash technology. But still, the developers at both companies have gotten together and delivered the first step to making Flash video far more livable on Mac OS X systems.

Apple recently released a new framework in its latest Snow Leopard update that provides low-level access to the H.264 decoding capabilities of compatible GPUs found in Macs and MacBooks such as the Nvidia GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M.

This paved the way for Adobe to implement GPU assisted video decoding for Flash videos, especially those encoded for high-definition. Read more details in a Flash Player Engineering Blog.

Engadget put the early build of the new Flash Player through its paces on the newest models of 15-inch MacBook Pros. While the Nvidia GeForce GT 330M helped decrease the CPU strain on the Core i7 model, the same plug-in curiously made things more strenuous on the CPU for the Core i5 machine. It's likely just a software bug, as the preview build has shown to make life easier with GPU assist.

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    masterjaw , April 30, 2010 1:37 AM
    Wow, talking about hypocrisy. The CEO bashes Adobe on the outside, making it look like Apple doesn't need Adobe at all.
  • 21 Hide
    matt314 , April 30, 2010 1:40 AM
    I think Stevie is just losing his mind....
  • 12 Hide
    HansVonOhain , April 30, 2010 3:06 AM
    Stevie is on drugs....
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    Nesto1000 , April 30, 2010 1:33 AM
    Smells like disaster to me...
  • 1 Hide
    zachary k , April 30, 2010 1:36 AM
    cool....will they work on this for the iphone, or will SJ flip us the bird again?
  • 21 Hide
    masterjaw , April 30, 2010 1:37 AM
    Wow, talking about hypocrisy. The CEO bashes Adobe on the outside, making it look like Apple doesn't need Adobe at all.
  • -6 Hide
    Shadow703793 , April 30, 2010 1:38 AM
    Do realize that using GPU acceleration will reduce battery life due to the fact that the GPU uses more power than the CPU.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3682/adobe-enables-gpu-flash-acceleration-in-os-x-we-test-it
  • 21 Hide
    matt314 , April 30, 2010 1:40 AM
    I think Stevie is just losing his mind....
  • 9 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , April 30, 2010 1:49 AM
    Shadow703793Do realize that using GPU acceleration will reduce battery life due to the fact that the GPU uses more power than the CPU.http://www.anandtech.com/show/3682 [...] we-test-it

    Still, running the decoding on the GPU will suck up less power than running it through software.
  • 7 Hide
    Dirtman73 , April 30, 2010 2:42 AM
    Waiwaiwaitaminnut...I thought these guys hated each other? Business before bad blood I suppose.
  • 12 Hide
    HansVonOhain , April 30, 2010 3:06 AM
    Stevie is on drugs....
  • 12 Hide
    bejabbers , April 30, 2010 3:10 AM
    Screw apple. Only idiots use them anyways, they don't need flash.
  • -9 Hide
    Marco925 , April 30, 2010 3:21 AM
    Flip Flop Flip Flop...

    Can anyone pick a stance and stick with it. Even I am getting confused. Is my phone getting flash or not?

    BejabbersScrew apple. Only idiots use them anyways, they don't need flash.


    I take great offence to your statement because I Purchased an iPhone, Maybe you can better word your phrases,

    Or only idiots make baseless insults to the decisions of other people.

    You don't have to like a product or a company or anything. but please refrain from being insulting to others, or in your language, An idiot.
  • 3 Hide
    Glorian , April 30, 2010 3:28 AM
    zachary kcool....will they work on this for the iphone, or will SJ flip us the bird again?


    Heh, they have to give you a reason to buy a macbook and a iphone/ipod/ipad.
  • 8 Hide
    jrharbort , April 30, 2010 5:47 AM
    HansVonOhainStevie is on drugs....

    Either that, or he has a serious case of bipolar disorder.

    There are so many contradictions, it made my eyes cross in confusion.
  • -4 Hide
    vic20 , April 30, 2010 7:00 AM
    GPU Flash on any machine with a powerful processor is a stupid project if you ask me. Powering a big chip which is capable of even Blu-ray decoding by iteself and then firing up a GPU for web content is purely ridiculous. This is not efficient, and you don't gain any visual or perfomance increases.

    If we were talking about a machine that had a slow, low-power CPU such as an Atom or 1.3 Core Solo and a low power GPU like a 9400m then this makes total sense. Netbooks and even set-top devices such as Apple TV could realy use this. But Apple does not make laptop designs like this.

    Their slowest CPUs are 3GHz Core 2s. What are you going to do? Disable all but one core and clock the CPU to 800Mhz when flash kicks in to fire up a GPU and keep within a decent power envolope? Whats the point?

    Time and development of Flash should be focused to iPhone, iPod and iPad. If iPad's A4 ARM graphics component could hardware accelerate Flash then get that working instead. If not someone needs to develop a low power, dedicated mobile embedded Flash decoding chip or Apple could use Tegra in their next iPad/iPod which has Flash acceleration integrated.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 30, 2010 7:03 AM
    So basically Apple doesn't expose the right hooks/APIs/etc. to the Adobe developers, bashes Flash left and right ... notices it runs just fine on Windows and WebOS.

    and then says "oops" here you go after another Adobe-bashing, anti-competitive exclusion of the Adobe development environment for phone apps, and getting a kid who *found* an iPod.

    Right.

    Steve Jobs is uncouth, and you think Microsoft is evil?
  • 4 Hide
    micr0be , April 30, 2010 7:45 AM
    someone needs to check steve jobs for syphilis.
  • 7 Hide
    nebun , April 30, 2010 7:49 AM
    If my memory serves me right, didn't Steve Job say that Adobe is lazy and that Flash has way too many bugs? What a freaking hypocrite
  • -3 Hide
    warezme , April 30, 2010 1:21 PM
    The Flash GPU acceleration has been part of the PC drivers for both ATI and Nvidia for a long time now. Apple who always claims to have the best technology is far behind. Where is their Blue Ray? My Alienware M15x has had Blueray for several years now as have many PC laptops.
  • 0 Hide
    counselmancl , April 30, 2010 2:22 PM
    Accelerated computing is the future. Get ready for Minority Report type interaction soon.
  • -1 Hide
    reklatsa , April 30, 2010 3:00 PM
    Rather than mindlessly hurling abuse his way, has ho one here wondered that Steve Jobs may have had slightly more pertinent things to occupy his mind than the workings of Flash on Apple computers? He's had to juggle the running of highly successful computing and film production companies with complex health issues.

    A decade ago all but the most faithful had virtually written Apple off. SJ had the unenviable task of rebuilding a legendary company from a pile of pi**ed on ashes. A task he has so far achieved with aplomb.

    His focus has clearly shifted from big hardware as he and his teams have wrestled with future technologies and the software to enable them. Anyone see a personal benefit here?

    Maybe the whole messy debate about Flash on mobile v's desktop/laptop devices has brought aspects of Flash performance to the fore for Steve. Could he have recognised Apple's mistake of not releasing a framework to developers and decided to right a wrong by making it happen even if it is in an area of computing which will become increasingly irrelevant, the desktop PC?

    None of us here languishes in the head of Steve Jobs or sits on the Apple board. So, we don't know.

    Sure, it seems strange, even contradictory. Perhaps he self-assuredly sees Flash as a barrier to eco-friendly energy efficient hand-held devices and has hopes for an inclusive internet where open standards replace proprietary plug-ins. Who's to say that his vision wont be the one that materialises?

    People react badly to change, and, like it or not, Apple has provoked change since its inception. A lot of what one does in their tech world today (and tomorrow) may not always have been invented by Apple but much of it has been championed by them.

    Someone mentioned Blu-Ray... What about it? What does that have to do with anything when you'll most likely be watching streaming HD video on or via a hand-held device within a year or two? How many of you here have transitioned from Beta/VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray to streaming? Is Flash the right container to carry that burden or does the future beckon something better?
  • 2 Hide
    djtronika , April 30, 2010 3:18 PM
    warezmeThe Flash GPU acceleration has been part of the PC drivers for both ATI and Nvidia for a long time now. Apple who always claims to have the best technology is far behind. Where is their Blue Ray? My Alienware M15x has had Blueray for several years now as have many PC laptops.


    "Blue-Ray"? are you $@#&&*#$ serious? wow, get off this site now.
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