Flash 10.1 has GPU acceleration, beta coming this year

At last! The days of YouTube and Hulu videos raising CPU utilization through the roof may soon come to an end. Adobe has announced that the next major release of Flash will take advantage of dedicated graphics hardware to accelerate video and graphics rendering.

A public beta of the new Flash player will roll out later this year for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, not to mention Windows Mobile and Palm webOS. Users of Google Android and Symbian devices can expect a public beta early next year, and "general availability" (presumably meaning finalized releases) will follow in the first half of 2010.

Nvidia has put out its own press release, noting that it and Adobe worked "closely together" as part of the Open Screen Project to enable acceleration on GeForce, Ion, and Tegra graphics chips. In other words, you can look forward to acceleration on desktops, netbooks, and handhelds—even Tegra will speed up both vector graphics and video. That's not strictly news, though; we got a first-hand look at Tegra smartbooks churning out hardware-accelerated Flash video at Computex in June.

What about the iPhone? That name is eerily absent from the Adobe announcement. The FAQ page on Adobe's Labs site lays the blame on Apple, saying, "While we have been working hard to make the browser plug-in available, without increased co-operation from Apple, it will not be possible."

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