HP Claims Breakthrough in Ink-Based Printing Technology

Jul 11, 2005
HP Claims Breakthrough in Ink-Based Printing Technology

New ink-based printing platform delivers record-breaking print speeds in the home and office, and will scale to high-volume printing markets

HP today announced a breakthrough ink-based printing platform, the result of a five-year, $1.4 billion strategic investment that the company believes will catapult its leadership in the printer market years ahead of its competitors.

At a press conference, HP unveiled its first products built on the new scalable printing technology, which is designed specifically to deliver high-performance printing for high-volume users. These include the world's fastest home photo printing devices - 4 x 6-inch photos in as fast as 14 seconds - as well as the world's fastest desktop color business printer, which enables small and medium-size businesses to print up to twice the speed and 30 percent lower cost-per-page than color laser printers.

"Today marks a milestone in HP's 21-year printing history," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "This technology is the next step in our business transformation - the master key that unlocks new market opportunities and further growth in our printer business. Today's announcement will create a new perspective and experience around printing in the home, in the office and for the entire industry needing digital prints."

Bringing new levels of choice to customers while meeting their diverse printing needs and budgets, HP additionally announced a range of digital photography products, including the industry's first compact photo printer capable of printing 5 x 7-inch photos and storing up to a year's worth of photos (more than 1,000 images).

Innovation drives growth

HP's new technology is a breakthrough in the architecture and manufacturing of the inkjet printhead. The sophisticated assembly of the new printhead enables a faster development cycle at an estimated 50 percent lower cost, giving HP an efficiency of scale for its substantial research and development investment.

The printhead components are fabricated as one unit via a photolithographic process, rather than welded together in post-production. This results in the precise alignment of the chamber, nozzles and heating element, which then improves the accuracy of ink drop placement. This unique design also supports an increased density of nozzles, with 3,900 nozzles or more on a single printhead. More nozzles and increased dot placement accuracy translates into faster, high-quality prints. Additionally, the new printing system ensures that users will never run out of ink mid-page - eliminating a source of wasted ink and paper.

Because the new platform is scalable, HP is able to address the diverse needs of the printing market, from high-volume consumer users and small to medium-size businesses all the way up to the commercial market. This is made possible in three technical ways.

First, HP can increase the size of the swath - the area the printhead covers with each pass over a page. With larger swathes, the printhead needs to make fewer passes over a page, thus leading to increased speeds. Second, HP can increase the number of nozzles on the printhead to allow for higher quality, larger prints. And third, HP can increase the number of inks per printhead, providing a richer color gamut.

High-volume printers based on the new platform

The HP Photosmart 8250 Photo Printer, priced at $199, and HP Photosmart 3000 All-in-One series, priced from $299 to $399: These are designed for consumers who want to quickly print batches of photos, unattended, in the convenience of their homes. These world's fastest photo printers feature six individual HP Vivera ink cartridges and produce beautiful photos and crisp text at blazing speeds - 4 x 6-inch photos in as fast as 14 seconds for as little as 24 cents a print. The HP Photosmart 8250 Photo Printer is available this month via hpshopping.com and major retailers. The HP Photosmart 3000 All-in-One series is expected to be available this fall.

The HP Officejet Pro K550 Color Printer series: These single-function printers are designed to deliver superior color, laser-like quality text and water-resistant prints - all at up to twice the print speed and half the purchase cost of competitive color lasers printers. Expected to be available in the fall, this printer series will also set new standards in total cost of ownership, with substantially lower cost-per-page than laser printers.

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