In a recent demonstration at Intel's Santa Clara campus, Nestares ran the algorithm on a dual-core Intel machine to add resolution to a webcam (click here to see a video of a demonstration). The algorithm was able to add four times the resolution to captured video, with no noticeable delay. Nestares says that the algorithm is written to scale to the number of cores that it runs on: the more cores available, the more the processing gets divided up. "Different regions [of the video] are assigned to different cores," says Nestares. Using this method, it would take about 150 cores to convert DVD video into HD DVD in real time, he says.
There's an economic driver to be able to add resolution to video, says William Freeman, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. More people are buying HD TV sets, and there's still a lot of content that hasn't caught up with the resolution that those sets can provide. "There's a real need ... People are going to want to look at high-definition content on their new HD TV sets," Freeman says.
At this point, however, Intel doesn't have any plans to make the algorithm commercially available. But Bautista says that the team has talked with product groups at Intel about the possibility.