We’ve just released on Labs the first public preview of the “Molehill” APIs for 3D hardware acceleration in Flash Player/Adobe AIR. In case you missed it, we first demoed this technology last year at Adobe MAX 2010. Molehill relies on DirectX9 and OpenGL (depending on the OS platform); it has a software fallback in case the GPU rendering is not available, for example, when the GPU driver is incompatible. This API is accessible to developers from ActionSript 3 and you’ll be able to do things like: programmable vertex and fragment shaders.
What does this all mean? Well, developers will be able to build games that run full screen in HD resolution at 60fps with 3D scenes, everything being GPU accelerated. Do you fancy some kick-*** 3D first person shooter or a car race ? In terms of performance, using the existing features you’d be able to render thousands of triangles at 30 Hz. With Molehill you can do hundreds of thousands, full HD, at 60 Hz.
While this preview is for desktops only, we are working to bring this technology to mobile devices too. Until then, you can download the bits from here and read Thibault’s blog post for more details about its inner workings.