GPU rendering in Flash Player applications

An important new feature of Flash Player 10.1 is that it can use the GPU to render graphical content on mobile devices. In the past, graphics were rendered through the CPU only. Using the GPU optimizes the rendering of filters, bitmaps, video, and text. Keep in mind that GPU rendering is not always as accurate as software rendering. Content can look slightly chunky when using the hardware renderer. In addition, Flash Player 10.1 has a limitation that can prevent onscreen Pixel Bender effects from rendering. These effects can render as a black square when using hardware acceleration.

Although Flash Player 10 had a GPU acceleration feature, the GPU was not used to calculate the graphics. It was only used to send all the graphics to the screen. In Flash Player 10.1, the GPU is also used to calculate the graphics, which can improve rendering speed significantly. It also reduces the CPU workload, which is helpful on devices with limited resources, such as mobile devices.

GPU mode is set automatically when running content on mobile devices, for the best possible performance. Although wmode no longer must be set to gpu to get GPU rendering, setting wmode to opaque or transparent disables GPU acceleration.

Note: Flash Player on the desktop still uses the CPU to do software rendering. Software rendering is used because drivers vary widely on the desktop, and drivers can accentuate rendering differences. There can also be rendering differences between the desktop and some mobile devices.

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