Adobe CS6 supports OpenCL acceleration

Applications that support OpenCL are still relatively rare. The API is designed to allow software to tap graphics horsepower for general-purpose computing tasks. It's similar to Microsoft's DirectCompute and Nvidia's CUDA, but with the added warm fuzziness that comes along with being an open standard. OpenCL isn't limited to a particular vendor's hardware, so it's compatible with GPU hardware from both AMD and Nvidia. Even Ivy Bridge's integrated GPU offers support.

The next version of Adobe's Creative Suite will, as well. AMD's Fusion Blog has revealed that CS6 versions of Photoshop and Premiere will support OpenCL acceleration. Photoshop will continue to benefit from the OpenGL acceleration it's enjoyed in previous versions. CUDA support will remain, as well.

The AMD blog post says there are a "fantastic number" of GPU-accelerated features in CS6. However, it's unclear how many of them rely on OpenCL. Of the two features highlighted by AMD, only one, the new blur gallery, is said to benefit from OpenCL acceleration. The other uses OpenGL.

As one might expect, both examples benefit mightily from being tapping into GPU resources. AMD claims performance improvements in the neighborhood of 5-8X on a Llano-equipped notebook, and that's just using the APU's integrated Radeon. It will be interesting to see how other desktop applications take advantage of the PC's increasingly potent GPU horsepower—and how long it takes them to hop onboard.

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