Next Photoshop to tap GPUs for extra computing power


— 2:35 PM on May 23, 2008

For all the horsepower of today's latest and greatest microprocessors, Photoshop can still be a little sluggish—especially so when juggling large, multi-layer files and complex filters. TG Daily has learned that Adobe plans to speed things up in the next version of Photoshop by relying on graphics processors for additional computing power.

According to TG Daily, Adobe demonstrated the general-purpose GPU capabilities of Photoshop "CS4" at Nvidia's headquarters in Santa Clara, California. The results apparently spoke for themselves:

We saw the presenter playing with a 2 GB, 442 megapixel image like it was a 5 megapixel image on an 8-core Skulltrail system. Changes made through image zoom and a new rotate canvas tool were applied almost instantly. Another impressive feature was the import of a 3D model into Photoshop, adding text and paint on a 3D surface and having that surface directly rendered with the 3D models' reflection map.

There was also a quick demo of a Photoshop 3D accelerated panorama, which is one of the most time-consuming tasks within Photoshop these days. The usability provided through the acceleration capabilities are enormous and we are sure that digital artists will appreciate the ability to work inside a spherical image and fix any artifacts on-the-fly.

Although TG Daily doesn't mention it, Adobe's decision to showcase GPGPU capabilities at an Nvidia event hints that the software firm is using CUDA to do its magic. If so, the next version of Photoshop may support GeForce 8 and 9 graphics cards like other current CUDA apps.

The next version of Photoshop will launch on October 1 as part of Adobe's Creative Suite Next toolkit, TG Daily says.

   
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