The new release of the Harlequin Host Renderer, Global Graphics’ engine that drives the industry’s leading digital presses, has launched.
Version 4 builds on the performance of the previous version, announced at drupa last year, and adds new color tools including calibration support and Harlequin SetGold™, a utility to pre-set gray balance and ink limiting before color profiling.
Speed tests reported at drupa showed that the Harlequin Host Renderer delivers pages far in excess of the rated speeds of the industry’s highest performing digital presses. It is optimized to consume the vast amount of data that a digital print job typically requires whether it’s live transparency in photobooks or the greater amount of variable data in personalized direct mail or transactional printing. It includes Harlequin VariData™ that accelerates the processing time of PDF/VT files as well as regular PDF files containing variable data. Print shops using the Harlequin engine to drive their presses can keep pages fed at full speed and realize a faster return on their investment.
“Version 4 of the Harlequin Host Renderer continues to drive down the cost of DFEs by increasing the performance that each processor can achieve, says Martin Bailey, CTO, Global Graphics Software. “It also extends the infrastructure around the high-quality color management within the RIP to make it even easier to meet your requirements for color matching, and maximizing gamut while limiting ink usage.”
New features include:
- Color: Harlequin SetGold can be used with Version 4 to prepare a press for profiling, by setting gray balance and ink limiting; this reduces variation over time and between presses when using the color profile.Version 4 can now produce pre-compressed, unscreened output in 10- and 12-bit depths, minimizing artifacts when final calibration must be performed post-RIP (e.g. for near real-time correction as the press is running) without the data copying overhead of 16-bit raster delivery.Calibration data sets can now be installed by supplying measurement data in a variety of measurement systems (e.g. density, %dot, Status-T etc); the press vendor no longer needs to pre-compute compensation curves
- Performance: Files containing significant live PDF transparency are processed even faster.Raster caches for re-used partial pages can now be shared between RIPs when using Harlequin VariData in external mode. This accelerates PDF/VT and other variable data print jobs even more
- Security:Improved robustness in multi-RIP, multi-server environments, plus support for software licensing without dongles.
- Workflow integration:Version 4 can be used to generate previews and thumbnails for web-to-print and workflow user interfaces.
- Extended platform support:Version 4 is now supported on Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Red Hat Enterprise Server 6.2 Linux.
The Harlequin RIP drives the HP Indigo digital press range and the IHPS “T” series high-speed web press via the HP SmartStream Production Pro, Ultra or Elite Print Servers. It is used for a wide variety of applications including the TKS inkjet newspaper press, the Kanji digital press from SIS (part of Canon) and Miyakoshi’s high-speed full color inkjet presses and electro-photographic liquid toner-based presses.