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New Swarmcast patent covers broadband video

Wed, 10/03/2007 - 9:11am
Brian Santo

Swarmcast was granted a patent that appears to cover a wide variety of techniques to distribute data – including video – over a peer-to-peer network. The techniques are variously described in the patent as multisource streaming and, in the company’s parlance, “file swarming.” The basic description suggests the patent could conceivably apply to almost any packet-based broadband network.

US Patent 7,277,950, “Packet Transfer Mechanism Over a Peer-to-Peer Network,” describes a class of data transfer technology whereby data is broken up, distributed to other sources and then reassembled at an endpoint, according to the company.

Swarmcast says the patent covers core algorithms that form the foundation of many common modes of next-generation network data transfer, including peer-to-peer, grid content delivery and multi-source streaming.

Multi-source streaming enables the delivery of full-screen, live and on-demand Internet video in HD quality to global audiences over standard broadband, the company said.

If there’s a truly unique element to the patent, it appears to be that the specific approach described “approaches the mathematical bounds of efficient utilization of the capacity of a complex network,” as the company describes it.

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