We just met with AMD's CTO Phil Hester, and he clued us in on a few cool high-def processing tricks that the company will pull this year:

• The Puma mobile chipset, due out in Q2 of this year, is able to play the Transformers HD DVD (intense MPEG-4 AVC) and still have 40% to 60% of the processor left over. Normal laptops today use almost 100% of their processors on Transformers, and still drop tons of frames.


• Hybrid Crossfire will enable a cheap-o PC with integrated graphics to deliver a 1.7x speed bump when combined with a cheap-o discrete graphics card.

• A beta plug-in for Adobe Premiere is coming soon which will allow you to offload video encoding to the GPU, delivering a massive speed increase of 6x to 10x. Basically, you'll be able to encode in half the time it takes to play back, without paying a ton for the processor. [AMD]