Microsoft Snare GPU Acceleration Patent For Video Encoding

Microsoft has been granted a patent for GPU acceleration of video encoding, in a move that could have significant ramifications for NVIDIA, ATI and others.  The patent, "Accelerated video encoding using a graphics processing unit" filed in October 2004, describes a system whereby the GPU can "perform a motion estimation process in parallel with the video encoding process performed by the CPU" to reduce overall encoding time.

Stream computing is something we've seen both NVIDIA and ATI experiment with, with GPU models from both companies capable of turning their processor-packed chips to speeding up video crunching.  We're guessing lawyers all over will be poring over the exact reach of Microsoft's new patent to see exactly what's covered, what the company might be chasing them for royalties on, and how much they may need to rely on the DirectX Compute API in Windows 7.

[via ConceivablyTech]