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Thread: Adobe CS6 supports OpenCL acceleration

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    Thumbs up 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.

    From AMD blog:

    Today marks an exciting moment with the announcement of AMD and Adobe’s collaboration on Adobe® Photoshop® and Premiere® Pro CS6. The collaboration between AMD and Adobe brings the first implementation of OpenCL™ heterogeneous compute within the Adobe Creative Suites family to optimize new and existing features in Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Premiere Pro CS6.

    This is wonderful news for the millions of creative professionals using Adobe products. Adobe is launching Adobe Premiere® Pro CS6 which now includes OpenCL™ accelerated features in the Mercury Playback engine as well as Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 with breakthrough performance enabled by industry-standards with OpenCL and OpenGL acceleration in the new Mercury Graphics Engine. Benefit users can look forward to include an ever-growing array of hardware accelerated functions able to offer amazing performance and productivity.

    There are a fantastic number of GPU accelerated features in the new Adobe Photoshop CS6. Here are two great examples of the incredible levels of performance that have resulted from the collaboration with Adobe to optimize for Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), AMD Radeon™ Graphics, and AMD FirePro™ Professional Graphics through the industry standard OpenCL and OpenGL API’s:

    New Blur Gallery

    Working directly in the Photoshop CS6 interface, users can create tilt-shift effects, keeping one point in focus and then slanting and widening/narrowing the amount of blur emanating from that point. Alternatively, the whole image can be blurred except for one focal point, or the user can drop multiple focal points anywhere in the image and then dial up the amount of blurriness each creates.

    Before and After “Iris Blur” Effect. Images courtesy of Gary Wilson Photography (

    Imagine the amount of processing horsepower it takes to apply, say, six blur focal points on a 24-megapixel image. It could bring a non-accelerated system to its knees. However, with the Mercury Graphics Engine and OpenCL driving the feature, the editing process becomes a breeze, with the ability to render in only a few seconds. In fact, a mainstream notebook PC based on the AMD A8-3530MX APU is up to 672% faster when accelerated by the horsepower of the AMD Radeon™ graphics technology in the APU.* Notebooks with AMD A-series APUs are widely available from OEMs around the world in notebooks with VISION Technology from AMD.

    Lightning Fast Liquify

    The Liquify Effect has been an essential part of Photoshop for the better part of a decade, but as the tool continues to evolve and average image sizes keep expanding, the processing resources needed to support the filter have become significant. Again, most systems can perform Liquify operations, but demanding file sizes, especially on lower-end hardware platforms, may make loading and processing times inordinately long. That’s where hardware-based OpenGL acceleration comes in. Now with Liquify, you can immediately open unbelievably large images and immediately start working with more flexibility and options than ever. Quite frankly this wasn’t possible without hardware acceleration. Again, taking the example of a mainstream notebook PC based on the AMD A8-3530MX, we are seeing up to 456% faster Liquify when accelerated by AMD Radeon™ graphics technology in the APU.*

    Before and After “Liquify” Effect. Images courtesy of Gary Wilson Photography (

    Creative Suite 6 is another great example of the work AMD and Adobe are doing to enable brilliant experiences. Find out more about the AMD-Adobe collaborations at .

    And be sure to register for the AMD Fusion Developer Summit (AFDS) June 11 – 14 in Bellevue, Where Adobe’s senior vice president and Chief Software Architect, Tom Malloy will give a keynote and Adobe will lead a handful breakout sessions on Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Flash. Register now at

    Clarice Simmons is a Senior Marketing Manager at AMD. Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

    * Testing was performed by AMD using test scripts and a 60.2 MB .psd format source file of a 5616×3744 resolution image provided by Adobe. Time to complete a RGB 300 Blur scripted render test was 51.06 seconds with GPU OpenCL acceleration on versus 394.26 seconds with GPU OpenCL acceleration off. Time to complete scripted Liquify render test was 15.57 seconds with GPU acceleration on versus 86.62 seconds with GPU acceleration off. Test system was a notebook with AMD A8-3530MX APU with AMD Radeon™ HD 6620G Graphics, 1.9GHz, 4G 1600 DDR3 Memory, Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit. SBNB-I99
    Last edited by FilClaw; May 11th, 2012 at 13:35.

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