Technology Used in Large-Format Inkjet Printers
The wide print heads used in large-format inkjet printers were developed based on FINE print head technology. High-definition, high-speed printing on large-scale media is used in a wide range of applications, including artwork to adorn walls and architectural CAD.
High-Speed Performance, from Image Processing to Printer Control
The L-COA image processor, the heart of Canon's large-format inkjet printers, processes large-volume image data and compiles printing data*1 to provide optimal control of the printer. L-COA controls the one-inch-wide print heads, which eject ink droplets as small as 4 pl*2 from up to 30,720 nozzles, to enable high-speed,*3 high-resolution large-format printing.
L-COA was developed using Canon's System LSI Integrated Design Environment technology.
L-COA integrates onto a single chip functions that had previously been handled by multiple chips, including protocol processing, image processing, and printer control. System processing is also integrated for faster processing, a shorter communication time lag, and greater speed.
- *1 Large-volume image data
The data volume required for printing an A0 sheet (841 x 1,189 mm, sixteen times the size of a sheet of A4 paper) is approximately 3 GB.
- *2 pl (picoliter) : 1 pl = one trillionth of a liter
- *3 High-speed printing
An A0-size print can be created in approximately 53 seconds.
LUCIA / LUCIA EX
High-Quality 12-Color Pigment Inks to Satisfy Demanding Professionals
The ink used in printers is either dye-based or pigment-based.*4 Canon's LUCIA pigment inks combine the glossiness of dye ink with the vivid colors and weather resistance of pigment ink.
For the 12 LUCIA pigment inks, in addition to CMY ink colors, Canon developed special complementary RGB colors (complementary color*5 relationship) and two shades of gray,*6 realizing an expanded range which enables greater overall balance. With LUCIA, vivid colors can now be achieved on a variety of media types, including glossy paper.
The new LUCIA EX pigment ink system increased the color reproduction range by up to 20% by using more vivid pigments for all 12 colors and through the use of pigments with a variety of particle diameters. Furthermore, we have successfully produced a dark black using an ink design for raising the grade of black in order to meet the demand for high image quality from professional photographers and creators. By also improving ink materials, we successfully reduced bronzing*7 and improved rubfastness.*8
- *4 Dye and pigment
Ink is made up of pigment, solvent, additives, and water. Pigment is dissolved at the molecular level in dye ink but, in pigment ink, is only dispersed without being dissolved. Each ink type has its own strengths, with dye ink offering subtle color expression well suited for use in photo prints and pigment ink delivering superior light fastness.
- *5 Complementary colors
Pairs of colors located on opposing sides of the color circle. When adjacent to one another, complementary colors are emphasized and seem more saturated, such as magenta-colored flowers against green leaves.
- *6 Dark and light gray ink
Dark and light gray ink reduce the graininess of gradation in dark areas of an image. Because gray printing uses little colored ink, it reduces the impact of light sources on printouts.
- *7 Bronzing
A phenomenon in which colors seem to differ from the original color or have a metallic shine due to diffused reflection of illumination on the print surface.
- *8 Rubfastness
Ink's rubfastness refers to preventing the surface from peeling or being scratched when a printed surface is rubbed.
Reactive Ink Technology
5-Color Dye and Pigment Inks for High-Definition CAD Printing
Printing architectural drawings and design plans requires accurate printing of fine lines. Canon-developed reactive ink technology exploits the reaction between color dye inks and pigment-based matte black ink to prevent blurring along the edges of text characters and lines.
Five-color dye and pigment reactive inks create clear, crisp black output, making possible the printing of fine lines and ultra-small text. A rendering resolution of 1,200 dpi enables the smooth reproduction of oblique lines and curves, ensuring the clear presentation of small text characters.
Dynamic Layout Engine (DLE)
Easy Automated Creation of Poster and Album Layouts
PosterArtist, Canon's poster-creation software for large-format inkjet printers, incorporates Canon's proprietary DLE technology. DLE automatically provides layouts optimized for the number and size of the elements to be included, creating professional-looking results without the need for complicated operations.
The basic algorithm used in the DLE serves as a spring-like adjustment function and flexibly changes the spacing between each variable-sized element containing photographs or text. It automatically enables to optimize the size of each element while minimizing the difference of each spacing between those elements. With the newly developed auto design function that uses this algorithm, users simply input a minimum amount of information required for design, such as the targeted image, text and image data, and the software automatically creates design drafts in optimal color arrangements and layouts.