Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Xerox Reveals How They Speed Personalized Printing With New Technology

Press release from the issuing company

March 24, 2003--It happens on expressway on-ramps, at stadium exits, and even at printers: too many cars, or too big a crowd, or too much information arrives at the same place at the same time, and things slow down. With printers, the challenge can be assembling and printing image-rich personalized color documents at a high speed when each page requires handling tens of millions of pixels -- selecting, processing and positioning each pixel with precision. While they can't prevent congestion on expressways, Xerox Corporation scientists do have a solution that allows the company's latest digital production printers to take full advantage of their built-in speed and variable printing capabilities. It is based on a new compression technology, called Xerox MultiMode (XM2) Compression, combined with programmable high-performance video chips. The "a-ha" moment came when a Xerox researcher asked, "How do the digital signals from my cable service get converted into high-quality video images on my TV screen so quickly?" This led a group of researchers at Xerox to experiment with chips developed for the digital television and cable industry, resulting in the development of the unique XM2 image compression scheme. XM2 is a system that combines several of the latest industry-standard techniques to compress both the personalized images and the assembled page to a manageable size without any loss of clarity or sharpness in the pictures, graphics or images. Patents have been applied for. XM2 runs the imaging and compression algorithms on a high-performance video chip. According to Peter Crean, a researcher and Xerox Senior Fellow at the company's Webster, N.Y., research laboratories, Xerox is the first to use these chips in a variable printing application. "The combination of XM2 and the video chip delivers the same high-quality images using one-third the bandwidth that industry-standard compression algorithms use," said Crean. "That means we can move files that contain more data in a smaller format, ultimately boosting print speeds. Customers get higher quality images at lower costs." Compression is particularly important when printing variable content documents, which may include a combination of pictures, text, and graphics - all assembled into highly individualized documents. Available for the DocuColor 2000 series of digital color presses and the new Xerox DocuColor iGen3 Digital Production Press, XM2 makes it easier for the computers used in the variable information printing workflow to handle and process all of this data in seconds. Comparable compression technology and variable image print enhancements are also available for Xerox monochrome production printers.