Adobe has roled out a new playback engine in their new Premiere Pro CS5 product called “Mercury” that offers astounding performance by pushing most of the work onto the GPU. Adobe’s video guru Mr Dennis Radeke explains:
In the post, Dennis went on to explain “What is the Mercury Playback engine about? In a word, performance! It makes Premiere Pro do cartwheels and flips and barely breaks a sweat. It's like rocket fuel for your car. It's flat out incredible…” while we might say that this statement might be over-enthusiastic, read on: “In my first test of Mercury, I dropped several P2 clips on a timeline, made them picture-in-picture and looked to see if there were any dropped frames during playback…nada. I added more clips, bringing it up to eight or nine on my HP XW9400 with 12 cores of AMD goodness… Think it's the CPU? No! It's only being used at about 20-30%. It's GPU! I keep going and there is no hesitation in Premiere Pro. Okay, lets add some color correction to each one and while we're at it, lets drop in some blurs [that will stop it right?] Still playin' like buttah!”
What’s particularly interesting is that the technology that they are using is exclusive to NVidia, using CUDA technology. Of course it may not remain that way, but with AMD having difficulty with their OpenCL driver, CUDA is probably the best option available right now. As BSN suggests:
Thus, it isn’t surprising to see Adobe going to CUDA first. The plan is probably equal to all plans that we heard so far: go to CUDA in order to completely unlock the GPU potential and only then port to OpenCL, as Apple’s and AMD’s OpenCL toolkits mature, sometime in 2011.