A new version of the Harlequin Host Renderer SDK that is used in Digital Front Ends or RIP farms to drive digital production presses at full engine speed was announced by Global Graphics at Page 2011 in Tokyo.
The Harlequin Host Renderer is a software development kit that provides press manufacturers and software vendors with high-performance components with which to develop customized solutions. It processes PostScript, PDF (including live transparency), XPS, TIFF and JPEG files natively, and is highly-configurable, so that an OEM can chose to customize and integrate their own technology or use built-in features such as screening or color management.
"If you've spent upwards of $/£ 1 million on a digital press you need to get the maximum return on your capital investment by keeping it running at maximum speed," said Martin Bailey, chief technology officer, Global Graphics. "With the Harlequin Host Renderer it's possible to create a high-performance DFE that achieves that without an unacceptable hardware requirement because it is so powerful at processing pages. The Harlequin RIP has proved that it can form part of successful and profitable digital print solutions from 60 pages per minute up to 4000 and that scale across the demands of segments from general commercial print to books, from POD to direct marketing."
Version 2.0 of the Harlequin Host Renderer released introduces:
- multi-threaded support for processing live transparency in PDF to greatly reduce the bottlenecks that can be introduced in digital print workflows by this class of jobs;
- extensions to Global Graphics' variable data processing technology known as “PDF retained raster” which accelerates the processing of variable data jobs that are saved as PDF/VT or as regular PDF. External caching and post-RIP stitching of page parts is now supported, allowing press vendors to maximize throughput for direct mail and other work where a lot of graphics are shared between pages;
- even greater PDF processing performance across the board.
The Harlequin RIP is the engine that drives pre-press solutions and digital production presses from major vendors including HP, Kodak, Agfa, Xitron, ECRM, and Presstek.