Software developers get access to the massive horsepower of NVIDIA's GPUs through CUDA or ATI's GPUs through GPGPU, this will offer huge performance gains for specific applications like image or video processing but also has countless other possibilities.
During the presentation NVIDIA showed off a 2GB 442 megapixel image in Photoshop CS4 and TG Daily says the system could zoom or rotate the image almost instantaneously:
But there appears to be a very effective solution on the horizon, a solution that is most likely more effective than anything else we have seem before and in our experience using Photoshop over the past 14 years. During a demonstration at Nvidia’s headquarters in Santa Clara, we got a glimpse of Adobe’s "Creative Suite Next" (or CS4), code-named “Stonehenge”, which adds GPU and physics support to its existing multi-core support.What we don't know yet is which graphics cards will be supported by Photoshop CS4. I assume Adobe is using NVIDIA's CUDA technology, which works on GeForce 8 and 9 series graphics cards, but I'm not sure if Adobe will support ATI graphics cards.
So, what can you do with general-purpose GPU (GPGPU) acceleration in Photoshop? We saw the presenter playing with a 2 GB, 442 megapixel image like it was a 5 megapixel image on an 8-core Skulltrail system. Changes made through image zoom and a new rotate canvas tool were applied almost instantly. Another impressive feature was the import of a 3D model into Photoshop, adding text and paint on a 3D surface and having that surface directly rendered with the 3D models' reflection map.
There was also a quick demo of a Photoshop 3D accelerated panorama, which is one of the most time-consuming tasks within Photoshop these days. The usability provided through the acceleration capabilities are enormous and we are sure that digital artists will appreciate the ability to work inside a spherical image and fix any artifacts on-the-fly.
UPDATE: Adobe announced the GPU and physics acceleration was nothing more than a technology demonstration. It's not certain whether this feature will make it into the next edition of Photoshop.