Flash Player 11: 3D acceleration and finally 64-bits
July 15th, 2011 - 11:45 am ET by J. G.
Flash Player engine 11 is available in beta testing. As planned, GPU 3D acceleration is present, along with the surprising inclusion of a native 64 bit version.
Adobe Labs have made a beta version of Flash Player 11 available for download in which we find, among other functions, Stage 3D. Until now, Stage Video referenced a hardware acceleration improvement for playing H.264 videos and operations confined in the graphics processor. With Stage 3D, Flash Player has now implemented a new method of rendering both 2D and 3D.
Stage 3D calls on the low level API for GPU 3D acceleration. This was recently known by the code name Molehill and offered new possibilities to all screens (office, mobile, television). This is a competing service to WebGL (Web 3D) with an "agnostic" solution for browsers.
The 3D API’s call on DirectX 9 under Windows and OpenGL 1.3 under Mac OS X and Linux. For the mobile platforms, Flash Player calls on OpenGL ES 2.0, and you can see here an example of the 3D possibilities:
Native 64 bit support! Through the Square project, Adobe has been working on a native 64 bit version of their Flash Player. This Square project has finally come to an end with Flash Player 11. It was therefore surprising to find that a 64 bit version of Flash Player 11 will be available. We can now better understand why Mozilla is looking at a 64 bit version of their Firefox browser. Microsoft also already has a 64 bit version of Internet Explorer.
Native 64 bit support for Flash Player will be available on all environments: Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Adobe has made two distinct beta versions available for download: a 32 bit version of Flash Player 11 and a 64 bit version of Flash Player 11, for IE and all other browsers.
We can also note that for the beta version of Flash Player 11, improvements have been made for H.264 video encoding and support for 7.1 surround audio with HD videos directly played on televisions which use AIR has been added. The execution environment can also be beta tested (AIR 3).