GPU-accelerated Adobe Flash Player to arrive soon?

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It looks like Nvidia and Adobe's long-promised support for GPU-accelerated Flash videos is finally coming to fruition. Although no official announcement has been made, the graphics firm has reportedly been showing early builds of the GPU-accelerated Flash Player around, with YouTube's HD videos running smoothly on Ion-based netbooks where the same footage stutters on Intel's Atom platform.

The technique works by adapting Ion to recognize and process the H.264 encoded video inside the Flash environment. Adobe's GPU-accelerated Flash Player is also expected to work with other Nvidia chipsets, including Tegra, which should bring high definition streaming to portable devices like Microsoft's Zune HD and several of upcoming smartphones.

It's unclear exactly when users will be getting their hands on the updated Flash Player, or if the GPU-acceleration feature will initially be exclusive to Nvidia hardware, but the company is expected to make an official announcement next month, on October 5th. Adobe has previously said they hope to have accelerated Flash for Ion and other graphics chipsets in the first half of 2010.

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