On Thursday, leading up to today’s first day of NAB, AMD announced that Adobe’s latest iteration of their popular video editing program Premiere Pro, would support GPU acceleration on AMD GPUs. AMD’s article detailed the fact that the next iteration of this program, CS7, will support GPU acceleration on AMD’s GPUs via OpenCL. This is a development that has been needed for quite some time now considering that Nvidia and Adobe had partnered up to enable GPU hardware acceleration with the Mercury Playback Engine in 2009 with CS5. At that point, it was only CUDA enabled, which meant Nvidia GPUs or bust.

AMD’s perfomance claims in Premiere Pro CS7

Now, with this development, AMD can finally bring Nvidia competition in the professional graphics market when it comes to realtime rendering of video and video effects. If AMD’s performance claims are anywhere near what they claim, there’s a very good chance that they could gnaw away at one of Nvidia’s most profitable and stable businesses. The professional graphics division of Nvidia is what has kept the company afloat during some very rocky quarters and boosted them higher in stronger quarters.

With the addition of OpenCL support, however, this also means that AMD’s APUs could theoretically be capable of delivering similar performance boosts in programs like CS7. This would create yet another value added proposition for AMD’s APUs and could enable them to sell very well in the professional graphics space. What this does is that it further validates AMD’s desire to push OpenCL as an open standard for compute. It also puts them in a competitive advantage against Nvidia as many of the compute programs out there tend to run faster on AMD hardware if they are optimized correctly.

Hopefully, this announcement will push Nvidia to up the ante a little more with their K6000 graphics cards and will enable more competition in the market, which should drive down costs and increase performance per dollar for professional consumers. We all know that professional graphics card solutions are outrageously expensive for many designers and artists, so any price competition will always be welcomed.

We’re very happy to see such developments and can’t wait to test this performance for ourselves shortly.