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Nvidia, Adobe Announce GPU Accelerated Flash

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

Now your GPU can make a Flasher out of your Ion netbook.

Adobe Systems and Nvidia today announced (again) that they are working together to bring GPU acceleration to Adobe Flash. The companies said that they have been working closely together as part of the Open Screen Project to optimize and dramatically improve performance of Flash Player 10.1 for GPUs not only on netbooks, but also MIDs.

While an Nvidia GPU would be able to accelerate Flash video quite well on a Core 2 Duo-equipped machine, the companies are pushing the value of GPU acceleration with netbooks and nettops like the HP Mini 311, Lenovo IdeaPad S12, Samsung N510, Acer AspireRevo, and Asus eeeBox EB1012 – all of which are packed with the Nvidia Ion chipset.

Nvidia also pointed out that Tegra processor-based smartphones and smartbooks that start shipping later this year will accelerate vector graphics and video to enable full-screen Internet video and animation.

 “Consumers want the best Internet experience – whether it’s a mobile device in their pocket or a netbook at the coffee shop,” said Dan Vivoli, senior vice president of Nvidia. “Our engineers have worked closely with Adobe to make this a reality.”

With the quality of Flash video constantly on the rise – now with it able to stream 720p streams over YouTube – it might only be a matter of time until Flash becomes the cross-platform codec of choice for all sorts of video delivery. Could the days of DivX, XviD, or even H.264 be numbered?

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  • 7 Hide
    Mr_Man , October 5, 2009 4:50 PM
    Quote:
    Could the days of DivX, XviD, or even H.264 be numbered?

    I was under the impression that video embedded in Flash used normal codecs, such as the ones above. I could be wrong.
  • 4 Hide
    pender21 , October 5, 2009 5:00 PM
    Mr_ManI was under the impression that video embedded in Flash used normal codecs, such as the ones above. I could be wrong.


    Yes the FLV container supports H.264, H.263 - Xvid codecs etc... Most Youtube videos are encoded by Youtube with a H.264 codec, hence the high CPU usage when decoding (also due to the Flash overhead).

    I would have hoped it would have been a OpenCL or Direct compute solution instead of just CUDA (it sounds like).
  • 4 Hide
    crom , October 5, 2009 5:10 PM
    Flash uses On2 VP6 as its main video codec, that's for most FLVs. It can also run H264, DIVX, etc with a little actionscript coding.
  • 1 Hide
    reddragon72 , October 5, 2009 5:12 PM
    They can, but most use the On2 VP6 codec. It has better compression quality/speed. All I know is that I have downloaded HD youtube vids and converted them to 264/WMV(VC1) and Xvid all of which I matched the VP6 quality and all of them had larger files sizes. I also took raw uncompressed video and did the same thing and VP6 had better pic quality and a smaller file size. Not sure how or why, but it did.
  • 6 Hide
    dainsane1 , October 5, 2009 5:24 PM
    that's nice an all but i would rather adobe get's their act together and make flash work properly on 64bit platforms.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 5, 2009 5:32 PM
    Amazing, now, thanks to Nvidia's GPGPU technology, you can do perfectly normal shit like viewing a simple Flash webpage even on Intel's crappy Atom CPU. FFS, any halfway decent CPU can render Flash animation, even on platforms with non-optimized versions of Flash like Linux and OSX.

    PS: Atom and Flash both suck, but this is akin to winning the Special Olympics, but needing Nvidia's help to do it.
  • 1 Hide
    nforce4max , October 5, 2009 5:47 PM
    Sure let me know when nvidia decides to provide plugins to speed u windows media encoder and pcsx2.
  • -2 Hide
    nforce4max , October 5, 2009 5:48 PM
    Sure let me know when nvidia decides to provide plugins to speed u windows media encoder and pcsx2.
  • 2 Hide
    ravewulf , October 5, 2009 5:53 PM
    Quote:
    With the quality of Flash video constantly on the rise – now with it able to stream 720p streams over YouTube – it might only be a matter of time until Flash becomes the cross-platform codec of choice for all sorts of video delivery. Could the days of DivX, XviD, or even H.264 be numbered?

    WRONG! Youtube has switched to using the h.264 codec almost exclusively, especially for the higher quality videos. The HD streams and iPhone/iTouch compatible streams are not only using h.264, but they are also using the mp4 container, not flash at all! Instead the flash player and container have been updated to allow these changes. The "flash" codec Youtube used to use is rather disappearing.

    Here is some additional info on the formats Youtube is using: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube#Video_quality
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , October 5, 2009 5:54 PM
    Well, they need to make a case for ION. Even if it's paird with a weak VIA CPU, if an ION netbook can smoothly watch high def flash content, while an Intel Based net book can't, then that's a leg up for nVidia.
  • 0 Hide
    noob2222 , October 5, 2009 5:55 PM
    dainsane1that's nice an all but i would rather adobe get's their act together and make flash work properly on 64bit platforms.

    EXACTLY. Under windows 7, flash doesn't work with 64 bit browsers, and adobe reader doesn't work with 32 bit, just popus up a window with a ? on it.

    I can only really see this being useful on ancient computers and netbooks/smartphones, unless they are planning on sending blueray movies via flash.
  • 1 Hide
    ravewulf , October 5, 2009 6:00 PM
    reddragon72They can, but most use the On2 VP6 codec. It has better compression quality/speed. All I know is that I have downloaded HD youtube vids and converted them to 264/WMV(VC1) and Xvid all of which I matched the VP6 quality and all of them had larger files sizes. I also took raw uncompressed video and did the same thing and VP6 had better pic quality and a smaller file size. Not sure how or why, but it did.

    All the HD videos were already using the h.264 codec. As for your quality loss, when converting from one lossy codec to another it is unavoidable. See my above post and link for more info about Youtube's audio/video codec and container use.
  • 0 Hide
    Regulas , October 5, 2009 6:06 PM
    Ban Flash, it is a resource hogging advertisement platform, thats about all it is used for. Ban it.
  • 1 Hide
    deanjo , October 5, 2009 6:07 PM
    Pender21,

    The acceleration is done via DXVA not by a GPGPU process. It will use the built in video accerlation engines of the cards. Accelerated video is not limited to nVidia solutions.
  • 1 Hide
    steiner666 , October 5, 2009 6:20 PM
    gee, it'd be great if intel would work with adobe so that the larger % of ppl who have netbooks and such with they're GMA crap have a chance of streaming HQ flash...
  • 1 Hide
    dreamer77dd , October 5, 2009 6:31 PM
    "While NVIDIA is the one sending out the press release this morning, it should be noted that this Flash acceleration uses the DXVA protocols - not CUDA or any NVIDIA-specific. That means that AMD GPUs will also benefit from Flash acceleration so users of low-cost 785G platforms, for example, will also see great performance improvement. " http://www.pcper.com/news.php?s=5
  • 1 Hide
    thejerk , October 5, 2009 8:54 PM
    It would be nice if it just wasn't such a whore for resources in the first place.
    Personally, I don't like how anything from Adobe works.
  • 0 Hide
    davidgrenier , October 6, 2009 1:00 AM
    I.E. There's no point to GPU accelerated 2d vector graphics, but we (Adobe) do it anyway to bring another software bloat on your computer.
  • 1 Hide
    chulek , October 6, 2009 12:34 PM
    Just give HTML5 more time...
  • 0 Hide
    mysticalzero , October 7, 2009 9:37 AM
    I've been frustrated at how flash ramps up cpu usage and making the whole system response so sluggishly. While this is great news, I hope it runs fine with compiz.