Pixar released their Subdiv software as Open Source software under Open Subdiv.
I don't know much about the technical stuff, but rather than subdividing the whole mesh the system only subdivides where needed so flatter surfaces that do not require as much geometry use less geometry through tessellation.
And from what i can tell, it does this all off the GPU, meaning further efficiency and being able to view high quality meshes in real time rather than bumping down the preview mesh.
....so could Blender get this?
Jump to 9:10 and 22:50 for demos
+1 for opensubdiv. Would be great to have it in future versions of Blender.
DAZ Studio 220.127.116.11 Beta has put OpenSubDiv on the fast track to implementation. Right now all we have in it, I believe, is Edge and Vertex Creasing, which is one of the bigger features of OpenSubDiv, and Catmark Subdivision, which comes out far smoother than Catmull-Clark subdivision.
To my knowledge, DAZ Studio is the only publically available application, free or otherwise, that has implemented it. MODO has licensed PIXAR features like edge creasing, but so far as I'm aware, has not yet implemented OpenSubDiv as it is...
What I would like to know is this: are the guys on the Blender development team planning on doing so?