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.”

Comments closed
    • jackbomb
    • 10 years ago

    Flash video doesn’t seem to be too hard on modern CPUs at all. Laptop with a C2D T5600/1.83GHz and GMA 950 can handle those HD Pixar trailers on YouTube easily–only 8-45% CPU usage. Full screen playback is so smooth that it looks like it’s running in a DirectShow player.

    • Trymor
    • 10 years ago

    Wow, somebody was listening. That was fast…lol.

    §[<http://www.techreport.com/ja.zz?id=431965<]§

    • mkygod
    • 10 years ago

    It seems to me that this is a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist unless it is squarely aimed at netbook/nettops or out of date computers.

    I can’t remember the last time a youtube video lagged on a computer that i’ve used that wasn’t due to bandwidth problems.

      • entropy13
      • 10 years ago

      The problem exists obviously. If you’re someone who’s usually using 34+ tabs in one browser while music is playing in your music player of your choice while you’re printing a 20-page paper and playing some games like Plants vs. Zombies then you’ll see this as a big boon for your CPU.

      • jstern
      • 10 years ago

      Even if most CPUs can handle it, it still puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the CPU, and that’s what most people are complaining about. Personally I can’t stand the fan going at full speed when I watch a youtube video. Regular youtube videos, not HD ones. Certain pages make the fan go crazy also. Anything to make my computer run smoother is great news to me.

      That’s not a good mentality to have, everything runs good enough, so no need to improve on it. That’s always been my biggest fear as computers get faster, programmers getting lazy and not caring that their programs are using 10x more processing power than necessary. (The best example of that is myspace, since users can decorate their pages with 3rd party embed programs. These don’t seem like high priority programs for whoever wrote them, so they end up making it really hard to even scroll down the page.)

    • shank15217
    • 10 years ago

    Flash 15 should bring 64-bit native support. We’re on track good to see.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, they promised that like /[

    • edh
    • 10 years ago

    I consider Flash to be a spawn of the devil. I have it 100% blocked and allow it to rear its ugly head when – and only when – absolutely necessary on a case-by-case basis. Adobe should be drawn and quartered after having been impaled on a super-heated spike the size of the Washington monument for ever having developed the crap.

    Now I’ll tell you what I reaaly think about Flash . . . .

      • sircharles32
      • 10 years ago

      I believe Macromedia developed it. Adobe just adopted it, with the merger.

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    how about a flash 64bit version for winblows for people that don’t live in the past? its not fair that linux already has it…

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      What Linux has apparently isn’t what it claims to be.

    • thesaint
    • 10 years ago

    see Jen Hsun Huang lying to the people

    §[<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJJyG67by0U&feature=player_embedded<]§

    • jstern
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t know much about HTML5, so I have a question for anyone who might be interested in answering it. I hate the fact that videos on youtube have to be converted into flash video, which makes crappy quality videos even more crappy by re encoding them. I read that HTML5 will make flash obsolete, so I was wondering if it will be possible with HTML5 to upload all different kinds of video format without having to re encode them to a specific format. For example, will it be possible to one day upload a .wmv or avi video to youtube like website and have the original video playing, rather than a lesser quality one converted into .flv.

      • tay
      • 10 years ago

      No jstern, I believe the html5 video tag doesn’t yet specify what format is to be supported or what codec to use. Most likely the different browsers will support different codecs. Hopefully, it gets sorted soon with mozilla/youtube/google/apple supporting a common format. I am going to guess MS is going to support their formats + silverlight.

        • jstern
        • 10 years ago

        Thanks. Hope things get sorted out, though I’m still hoping for multiple format support rather than every video having to be re encoded to one format. Even youtube 720p videos look crappy, since they have to be converted. I feel like I’m whining, so I’ll shut up.

    • axeman
    • 10 years ago

    So it’s going to hog the GPU instead? No thanks. Let’s use one of those other video formats/decoders that can playback with nice quality and low CPU usage, while flash can do neither. Who wants to bet “GPU accelerated” flash uses more GPU power than GPU-assisted H.264 decoding?

      • Skrying
      • 10 years ago

      You need to do a bit of reading. Flash video is a container. Flash can be used to deliver H.264 video. So yes, it would make sense for it to use more “power” as it is doing more work no matter how you want to look at it.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        It’s a pretty bad container then, sort of a leaky rusted nuclear waste container a la The Simpson’s. All he was saying is that other playback methods (containers, codecs, whatever, just details) use less resources for the same quality video than Flash and that’s what makes Flash suck.

          • Skrying
          • 10 years ago

          No, that’s not at all what he said. Why you feel the need to rewrite his rewords is beyond me. I was pointing out that there is a large lack of knowledge of what Flash even is with regard to video.

            • sschaem
            • 10 years ago

            §[<http://www.kaourantin.net/2007/08/what-just-happened-to-video-on-web_20.html<]§ "You can load and play .mp4,.m4v,.m4a,.mov and .3gp files"

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            How about this – you stop acting like a snotty know-it-all asshole with comments like q[

            • Skrying
            • 10 years ago

            So he didn’t have the words “Who wants to bet “GPU accelerated” flash uses more GPU power than GPU-assisted H.264 decoding?” in his comment? There are no bets here. Almost universally the HD Flash video out there is serving H.264. It would be absolute magic if it didn’t use more processing power.

            The increase in processing needs is a bit high. I have no idea where you got where I said Flash was very efficient or efficient at all. Which really annoys me about the way you always attack my comments. You’re literally pulling statements from thin air. I don’t know why I’m replying to someone who has to literally make shit up.

            I’ve said more than my fair share of asshole statements but I’m still confused as what warranted your first response to me. Why you feel the need to change what he said and why you’re making shit up.

            I’m not trying to sound smart I’m trying to point out useful information because a lot of people DON’T know this key part of Flash and make statements that don’t make sense.

            This is really tiring, I’d appreciate if you would just stop replying to me if you’re always going to do this…

            • axeman
            • 10 years ago

            So you’re agreeing that H.264 video in a flash container uses more processing power than H.264 video in another container? Thanks for proving my point. Oh, and what sort of “container” does the video on you tube use. It’s nifty that all those playback controls and hyperlinks to other videos are in your magical “container”. The issue here isn’t about the decoder or what format the media is in. It is that the player SUCKS. It sucks CPU cycles. It hangs the browser. It can’t figure out how to buffer enough of the clip to avoid stalling 8 billion times if there is network congestion. If flash video is just a “container” like you claim, where is the actual decoder? Is it magic? It’s not the CONTENT hogging the damn CPU, it the shitty code in the plugin. Sheesh. Pontificating about how much you know about the damn content doesn’t say a damn thing about the internal workings of the flash player.

            • Skrying
            • 10 years ago

            Can you please show me a superior way to playback video on the Internet that nearly all computers have installed? Because that’s why Flash is used. I’m sure Google would love to use another player (I wouldn’t be surprised if they develop their own technology) and Microsoft certainly did (Silverlight). I haven’t even claimed Flash was good at what it does but it isn’t really horrible either. I haven’t had Flash related crashes in Firefox in quite some time. But there’s a different set of requirements between say a MKV on a desktop player and Flash streamed from the web. Divx’s web player certainly doesn’t do much better either.

            Your comment read like nothing more than you trying to back track.

            • jstern
            • 10 years ago

            From my observation flash is like an emulator, something that’s not native to the OS, so using lets say flash to play video would require a lot more prepossessing power than if it was played on a native video player. For example, when I download a youtube video to my computer, (Which is very easy to do) and play the video on my media player, that same video that would have been hogging my CPU now only requires a much smaller fraction of it, and the fans don’t start going crazy. In other words an inefficient video format is not the reason for the high CPU demand, rather it’s that the video is being played in an emulated environment. That’s what I assume from my observation.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Sorry about the name calling, but the rest stands. You miss the forest for the trees by worrying about whether someone knows the details of how Flash works – it doesn’t matter because they know it sucks and will continue to suck relative to other methods regardless of GPU acceleration, and unless you know differently (which is why I *asked* that and did not say you said it) which would be nice to share if you did, just pontificating about the lack of knowledge about Flash is meaningless to the overall ‘forest’ point that Flash is resource heavy for what it does.

      • sschaem
      • 10 years ago

      dude! try this : §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(web_browser)<]§ It filter out all the graphical web junk.

    • JdL
    • 10 years ago

    *[http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200810/101508FlashPlayer10.html<]§

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      You might want to read more than just press releases because they sometimes, how do you say, /[http://www.kaourantin.net/2008/05/what-does-gpu-acceleration-mean.html<]§

        • JdL
        • 10 years ago

        Look buster, all Cyril did was reference a press release, claiming that GPU acceleration was FINALLY here. If he really knew what he was talking about, he would know that GPU acceleration has already been with us for a year now.

        To what level / extent Flash has used GPU acceleration is mentioned nowhere, either in Cyril’s reporting or in the press releases he referenced.

        He needs to retract and / or clarify his statement. Plain and simple.

        • indeego
        • 10 years ago

        Shade or not the support is there.

        Aren’t you one of those freaks that doesn’t even install flash, period? I should try that sometimeg{<...<}g

          • Trymor
          • 10 years ago

          If not installing it is good enough for Apple, why can’t it be good enough for Uber?

            • Flying Fox
            • 10 years ago

            Who said Uber is not doing that already?

            • Trymor
            • 10 years ago

            q[

            • indeego
            • 10 years ago

            I actually use “freak” in a good sense. I commend Apple for not using Flash, and [supposedly] supporting HTML5. Open standards FTW every time. I agree that Flash eats battery juice and that should be a priority of every smartphone to increase uptimeg{<.<}g I just can't do it, myself. I'd like to get rid of Flash once and for all at least one of my carnal urges says otherwiseg{<.<}g

            • Trymor
            • 10 years ago

            My bad. Totally mis-read that. Makes more sense now…lol.

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    What happened to multi-threading instead?

      • HighTech4US
      • 10 years ago

      And how exactly would multi-threading help the netbooks with the single core adam?

        • _Sigma
        • 10 years ago

        atom*, not adam.

          • 5150
          • 10 years ago

          Up and….

          • kvndoom
          • 10 years ago

          We must harvest the Adam. Adam is life in Rapture.

        • ace24
        • 10 years ago

        They have hyperthreading that actually works.

        • Bensam123
        • 10 years ago

        What about almost every desktop that has been built in the last four years that has a multi-core processor(s)?

        …and there are dual core atoms.

    • odizzido
    • 10 years ago

    They are going to have to do something to screw it up then because adobe does not make things better.

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    Error in this news post:

    q[

      • SlyFerret
      • 10 years ago

      Dude, that’s the first thing I thought about too!!

      • cygnus1
      • 10 years ago

      Haven’t had the (mis?)fortune of seeing techreport.com on a netbook. Is that bad?

        • flip-mode
        • 10 years ago

        I haven’t seen a bad flash ad on TR for a long time, but I couldn’t pass on the chance to joke about it.

      • Skrying
      • 10 years ago

      I have yet to see any ads on TR that do this. Firefox is currently using under 5% of my CPU and I do not have any blocking of ads enabled.

        • axeman
        • 10 years ago

        Nothing like a CPU-hogging flash ad as a pointless replacement for an animated .gif
        Oh, and with TR, they don’t have many flash ads anyhow, most of them are animated gifs.

      • Flying Fox
      • 10 years ago

      GPU acceleration may not solve the CPU hogging problem of badly written Flash I think. The day they address the issue I’ll be jumping up and down for joy.

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        It might “fix” some of them (which will then announce themselves by your GPU fan cranking to its highest speed) but yeah, bad coding (or bad plug-in architecture, or bad language/framework design) is bad coding and code that hogs the CPU isn’t automatically code that might be getting offloaded to the GPU.

          • Flying Fox
          • 10 years ago

          The worst case is that /[

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 years ago

            Yep, move over, Microsoft. Adobe: the new driver for Moore’s Law.

            • Skrying
            • 10 years ago

            Video in general has been the biggest pusher in the mass markets for increased processing power for a bit now. Which is why Atom actually makes a ton of sense when paired with a reasonable graphics option for most people. As new versions of Atom reach the right balance they’ll be able to easily handle most users most demanding task. HD flash video…

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 years ago

            I was more thinking about the summary of progress back in the Bill Gates / Andrew Grove days:
            “Andy makes my computer faster, Bill slows it down again.”

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    Kinda like the barrier of not having flash/heavy CPU/GPU use on my phone. I’d be much more impressed with 4 day uptimes with typical smartphone useg{<.<}g

    • Corrado
    • 10 years ago

    Hopefully they add GMA950 acceleration in there, otherwise, this is pretty useless. Anyone with a dedicated card really has enough CPU to do Flash HD videos fine. Where this is SORELY needed is for the netbook/Atom class of machines, as well as the Intel CULV processors. I have very little issues with my single 1.6ghz Core2Solo in my Acer Timeline, but if they can add GPU acceleration for the GMA4500 or wahtever is in that machine, great!

      • VaultDweller
      • 10 years ago

      This would certainly make the Ion platform more more tempting.

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        Exactly, which is why nVidia is all over this annoucement with PR of their own talking up ION and Tegra (and implying this acceleration will be nVidia-specific, just as they did with GPU-accelerated Photoshop and Premier — which isn’t true, just as it wasn’t with Photoshop or Premier).

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 10 years ago

      I have a 4850 in my HTPC and the 2.1ghz athlon x2 can’t handle scaling flash to 1080p. Netflix, on the other hand works fine. It seems that silverlight is not nearly as bloated as Flash, and I’m pretty sure the new version that was released a few months ago does h.264 with hardware acceleration.

        • Skrying
        • 10 years ago

        From my understanding Silverlight offloads the scaling to the GPU but nothing beyond that as of now. Flash on the other hand does the scaling on the CPU as well, which is why we see such a significant increase in processor usage at fullscreen.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 10 years ago

          Is it possible to force Silverlight to use the CPU? That would at least allow some basis for comparison between the two as far as efficiency at least until Flash officially gets GPU support too. I’m not sure how one would measure GPU % usage at that point though, I can’t recall any of the tweaker or monitoring programs that show GPU % usage.

          • sschaem
          • 10 years ago

          Flash does scaling by default on the CPU, but you can have the GPU accelerate this for full screen modes. This to work well on my Atom netbook…

    • bthylafh
    • 10 years ago

    Great, how about a non-beta 64-bit version?

    • ptsant
    • 10 years ago

    Considering that 2d, video and 3d acceleration has been available from the 90s, this is a rather late addition to flash. Makes me wonder how that technology became so popular…

      • sschaem
      • 10 years ago

      What graphic card had h264 decoding in 1998?
      Even today, most low cost laptop and Intel chipset netbook dont have this support.

      And what gfx card in 1998 could render fully anti-aliased vector graphics?
      Even today, doing this efficiently is a nogo on 90% of the GPU found in people systems.

      Flash uses what the OS uses, for stability reasons.

      And lets but things in perspective… when did Windows started to use the GPU. Vista… and thats not a 1998 OS.
      Before Vista it was impossible to ship a product with any form of reliability that used the GPU. MS had to do allot of work to cleanup the mess.
      With Vista Aero you are guarantied some form of driver stability and working feature set out of the box.
      Because if you have buggy driver, Aero would be the first one hit.

      You need to read blogs from game developers of the era to realize of messed up the situation was at the time.
      I dont blame anyone just staying away from the GPU for this type of software.

        • ptsant
        • 10 years ago

        First of all, H264 was not available at the time, but the technology IS quite old:
        – The 2d acceleration has been with us longer than you can remember. I think one of the first cards with a blitter (ie tile moving and not a silly framebuffer) to gain wide consumer acceptance was probably one of the Cirrus logic cards (5420, 5422, 5426) circa ~1993. There were others, but I think they were much more exotic at the time. NO computer has been sold after 1995-6 I’d say without some form of 2d acceleration for windows.
        – One of the first widely available 3d accelerators was the Rendition Verite chip (ever heard of vquake?), which was fully programmable and ran at a staggering 40 Mhz. I had overclocked it to 60MHz by adding a heatsink. Other will remember the famous Voodoo 3dfx.
        – The Creative DXR2 mpeg2 decoder was available for DVD playback (I think 1999?) at the age of Pentium II 233 MHz. Various parts of the video pipeline (for example YUV to RGB conversion) have been accelerated for ages, even if the core decoding process has not.

        What I’m trying to say is that even if H.264 is new, the principle of using graphics cards to accelerate stuff dates to many, many years and it is unacceptable that a modern PC with any sort of graphics card available the last 3 years does not do Flash videos correctly. I don’t care what processor, what card.

          • sschaem
          • 10 years ago

          sure, everyone in 1999 was streaming DVD over the web using flash and support for Creative DXR2 mpeg2 decoder made sense because everyone had one of those….

          Reality, an overlay surface : the definition of HW video acceleration in the 90’s , was not much acceleration. And is now considered defunct.

          The choice for very minimal acceleration (when it works) is using Direct3D.
          what matter is dxva on windows, dxva with AVC support. Does Intel ship this yet for any Atom processors, or is Adobe ahead of the curve ?
          (but then, my samsung NC10 handle youtube videos just fine… )

          The issue I see is that its the Atom CPU that need help decoding ‘HD’ AVC streams, yet their is no real HW decoding available on that platform.
          And my old pentium core1 laptop handle HD youtube video just fine.
          (and for sure doesn’t support any h264 video acceleration)

          To me this news seem to be big for flash on the Zune HD / Tegra type HW and ION.

    • Fragnificent
    • 10 years ago

    GPU Acceleration or not, it shall remain bloXxor3d. 8)

      • dermutti
      • 10 years ago

      Agreed. Until advertisers stop trying to autoplay video ads, I won’t give up FlashBlock.

    • Fragnificent
    • 10 years ago

    <Removed duplicate post>

    • Game_boy
    • 10 years ago

    Does it use CUDA or just DirectX/OpenGL? If the latter it should work on all graphics cards, not just Nvidia.

    I much prefer the <video> tag though, I have no use for Flash except Youtube and hopefully that will switch to it.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      It’s not going to be nVidia-specific, though nVidia would like to think otherwise. This is exactly like the GPGPU additions for Photoshop and Premiere, which were hardware-agnostic though nVidia released a lot of PR that led some people to think otherwise.

        • Flying Fox
        • 10 years ago

        AMD is not listed as a member of the Open Screen Project. I am a bit nervous.

          • UberGerbil
          • 10 years ago

          Various reports indicate that for Windows Adobe is using DXVA. Those could be wrong; Adobe obviously would like to have as common a code base as possible so doing a branch just for one architecture is a little technically inelegant, but makes sense when it represents 90%+ of your installed base. And it’s not like nVidia is going to be there with CUDA to help them out on webOS, so they have to design it to be pretty flexible about the underlying acceleration architecture anyway.

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      The video tag won’t get you H.264 or, most likely, HD [patent] video. This is why many big video houses like youtube are sticking with flash, or rumors of Google’s own flash replacement come into play. They all have to license, however.

      regardless, Flash ain’t going anywhere soon as far as the defacto standard for online videog{<.<}g

        • JrezIN
        • 10 years ago

        actually, it may do… you only need the browser to support it or to support system codecs and have it as a system codec them… the video tag doesn’t require any codec at all, it’s all up to the browser to support it or not.

    • Nitrodist
    • 10 years ago

    Anything that Just Works and plays HD video well. PLEASE!

    • adisor19
    • 10 years ago

    Flash needs to die already. This is very bad news as it will probably slow down HTML5 adoption :s

    Adobe has too much control with Flash and this will only make things worse. I’m glad Apple doesn’t support it on the iPhone and i would hope more developers would step away from using it and instead go for open technologies to replace it where possible. (HTML5 Video tags come to mind)

    Adi

      • ironoutsider
      • 10 years ago

      Open standards FTW!!!

      • _Sigma
      • 10 years ago

      I’m all for open standards, but I’d take something over nothing on the iPhone though.

      • Tamale
      • 10 years ago

      I agree with you on this one, Adi.. but I fear now that pretty much ALL of the major TV networks have their own sites that play flash videos, in addition to Hulu, youtube, and google video, flash is the only format for video on the web that matters at this point.

      Dethroning flash for web video is going to be harder than de-throning windows on the desktop.

      • designerfx
      • 10 years ago

      the amount of people that understand this is sadly, extremely few. Most people don’t get how bad flash is in general.

        • Prion
        • 10 years ago

        Badness in general is more of a recent thing (cheers Adobe!) The larger issue is the whole expansion of Flash into doing things it was never originally intended for or designed around.

      • ptsant
      • 10 years ago

      Well said, enough with the blo4tw4r3. Time to move on to some really open standards.

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    It would better be as fast as Flash 9, at least. Flash 10 brought nothing to the table and made things slower. Well done, Adobe. At least you’re consistent over your product range.

      • axeman
      • 10 years ago

      QFT. I deal with their software all the time. Acrobat 8 Professional – bigger than Office 2003 Pro. Acrobat 9 Professional – bigger than Office 2007 Professional Plus. Adobe Reader 9? *50* times the disk footprint of Windows Media Player 12. Coding wizards they aren’t.

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        I wonder if it’s even object-oriented.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This