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A Distributed Low-Cost RIP for Digital Presses

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Abstract:

As commercial printing presses become faster, cheaper and more efficient, so too must the RIPs that process and feed them data to print. Previously [1], we presented a single machine GPU-accelerated RIP system that harnesses the massive parallel computational power of programmable Graphic Processing Units (GPUs). This project builds on this work and leverages the Apache Hadoop framework to construct a distributed RIP system designed to scale efficiently and meet current and future RIP requirements for high speed commercial digital presses. Hadoop is an open source package already deployed in mission critical application at major internet companies designed for massively distributed processing of large static data sets. It provides job management, load balancing, and error recovery services which are well suited to building a stable and comprehensive distributed RIP system. We found, however, that the Hadoop processing and data management models do not match the streaming media processing nature of an EPID (“Every Page is Different”[2]) printing infrastructure. We have therefore implemented custom processing and data management modules to support distributed ripping of jobs and dynamic streaming of PDFs, images and ripped jobs through the system. Lastly, a custom front end was developed which allowed the system to be integrated with a digital press. The result is a solution combining open source software and a cluster of GPU-equipped commodity PC workstations which significantly reduces the cost and energy consumption of the DFE while scaling to meet the DFE needs of a wide range of commercial digital presses.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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