Adobe has unveiled the next release of Flash Player 10.1, a major improvement over previous versions, as a release candidate. The new Flash Player 10.1 is hardware accelerated, which means that users will see a significant reduction in CPU usage while viewing H.264 encoded online videos and while playing Flash games.
Online videos which employ H.264 coding will be decoded by Flash Player 10.1 assisted by a GPU or media accelerator whenever capable hardware is available. Adobe says the new player will help save battery life, which is good news for laptop, netbooks and smartphone users.
Flash Player 10.1 supports video cards and drivers running on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Hardware acceleration is not supported under either Linux or Mac OS X because of unavailability of required APIs.
Supported list of hardware is given below.
AMD/ATI : Hardware video decoding of H.264 content in Flash Player 10.1 is supported on AMD/ATI products with UVD2 with the ATI Catalyst Software Suite, starting with version 9.11 for the ATI Radeon family of products, and driver release 8.68 for the ATI FirePro family of products.
- Radeon HD 4xxx (and higher)
- Mobility Radeon HD 4xxx series (and higher)
- Integrated/Motherboard Radeon HD 3xxx (and higher)
- FirePro V3750, FirePro V7750, FirePro V8700, and FirePro V8750 (and later)
Intel : Hardware video decoding of H.264 content in Flash Player 10.1 is supported on Intel 4 Series Chipset family and the all New 2010 Intel Core Processor Family with Intel HD Graphics starting with the graphics driver version 18.104.22.1681(22.214.171.1241) for 32/64-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7.
For the Atom/Intel GMA 500 chipset, hardware decode is supported starting with the graphics driver version 126.96.36.1990 (188.8.131.520) for 32-bit Windows 7. Fullscreen mode on Intel GMA 500 chipsets running on Windows 7 requires the Aero theme.
NVIDIA : Adobe Flash Player 10.1 offers GPU-acceleration for NVIDIA ION and supported NVIDIA GeForce and Quadro-powered PCs. The full list of supported GPUs are available here.
Broadcom : Hardware video decoding of H.264 content in Flash Player 10.1 is supported on the Broadcom BCM70012 as well as the BCM70015 video decoding chipset, found in systems with Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Video Accelerator hardware.