GIMP 2.8 RC 1 arrives with GPU acceleration
The GIMP developers have announced the first release candidate for the upcoming 2.8 stable release of the open source graphics package. The new version includes updates to the Generic Graphics Library (GEGL) and the beginnings of support for GPU hardware acceleration using OpenCL.
The OpenCL hardware acceleration features in GEGL were originally developed as part of Google's Summer of Code in 2009 and 2011 and finished over the winter with sponsorship from AMD and help by MulticoreWare. On supported systems, this feature should greatly speed up processor intensive operations. To try this experimental feature in GIMP, users have to start the application with the command line parameter
GEGL_USE_OPENCL=yes. Other improvements in GEGL include perspective transformation and internationalisation support.
Other new features since GIMP 2.7.4 include a reworked brush pack and around forty new tool presets that were released as part of GIMP 2.7.5 last month. More information on the features coming in GIMP 2.8 can be found in the release notes for the 2.7 development series.
GIMP 2.8rc1 is available to download from the project's web site and is licensed under the GPLv2. As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. The current stable release of GIMP is version 2.6.12 which was released in February.