An Apple patent (number 20120212481) for video acquisition with integrated GPU processing has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

The patent involves systems and techniques for processing sequences of video images involve receiving, on a computer, data corresponding to a sequence of video images detected by an image sensor. The received data is processed using a graphics processor to adjust one or more visual characteristics of the video images corresponding to the received data.

The received data can include video data defining pixel values and ancillary data relating to settings on the image sensor. The video data can be processed in accordance with ancillary data to adjust the visual characteristics, which can include filtering the images, blending images, and/or other processing operations.

Here’s Apple’s background on the invention: “Image sensors can be used to detect video sequences that can be used by various client processes in a laptop or desktop computer environment. For example, detected video sequences can be used for webcam applications, videophone operations, or video editing. Conventional cameras for use with computers are external peripherals, although built-in cameras can also be used. Such cameras can use charge-coupled device (CCD) sensors or complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) digital image sensors to detect images. CCD sensors are commonly used in digital still and video cameras and provide a relatively high quality image. CMOS sensors generally require less power and are less expensive but provide a lower quality image than CCD sensors, especially at low light levels. ”

The inventors are Jay Zipnick, Brett Bilbrey, Alexi V. Ouzilveski, Fernando Urbina and Harry Guo.

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