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VeröffentlichungsnummerUS20070126880 A1
PublikationstypAnmeldung
AnmeldenummerUS 11/672,878
Veröffentlichungsdatum7. Juni 2007
Eingetragen8. Febr. 2007
Prioritätsdatum15. Juli 1997
Auch veröffentlicht unterUS6331946, US6334190, US6374354, US6442525, US6787051, US6827282, US6938990, US7093762, US7222799, US7234645, US7278711, US7362971, US7373083, US7416282, US7454617, US7506965, US7631966, US7654626, US7703910, US7773113, US7845764, US7866797, US7980670, US20030071012, US20040004129, US20040168071, US20040239728, US20050061886, US20050092849, US20050127191, US20050150963, US20050178846, US20050218236, US20050225606, US20070035583, US20070201845, US20070201846, US20070285483, US20080012905, US20080252734, US20090073240, US20090135215, US20090135232, US20090141088, US20110050807
Veröffentlichungsnummer11672878, 672878, US 2007/0126880 A1, US 2007/126880 A1, US 20070126880 A1, US 20070126880A1, US 2007126880 A1, US 2007126880A1, US-A1-20070126880, US-A1-2007126880, US2007/0126880A1, US2007/126880A1, US20070126880 A1, US20070126880A1, US2007126880 A1, US2007126880A1
ErfinderKia Silverbrook
Ursprünglich BevollmächtigterSilverbrook Research Pty Ltd
Zitat exportierenBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Externe Links: USPTO, USPTO-Zuordnung, Espacenet
Handheld device with image sensor and printer
US 20070126880 A1
Zusammenfassung
A handheld electronic device that has an image sensor for sensing an image in a first color space having three color components such that an image is sensed as an array of pixels, each having three color component intensities captured as analogue values. The device also has an analogue to digital converter for converting the analogue values to digital values, a memory facility for storing the digital values of the color components for each of the pixels in the array in a respective memory location, an address generator for generating an address that uniquely identifies the memory location of the digital values of the color components for each pixel, an inkjet printer for operation in a second color space and, a processor for manipulating the image by remapping at least some of the memory locations in the memory facility, and color converting the digital values of the color components into the second color space.
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Ansprüche(10)
1. A handheld electronic device comprising:
an image sensor for sensing an image in a first color space having three color components such that an image is sensed as an array of pixels, each having three color component intensities captured as analogue values;
an analogue to digital converter for converting the analogue values to digital values;
a memory facility for storing the digital values of the color components for each of the pixels in the array in a respective memory location;
an address generator for generating an address that uniquely identifies the memory location of the digital values of the color components for each pixel;
an inkjet printer for operation in a second color space; and,
a processor for manipulating the image by remapping at least some of the memory locations in the memory facility, and color converting the digital values of the color components into the second color space.
2. A handheld electronic device according to claim 1 wherein the image sensor senses a first image and a second image of the same scene, such that the processor determines an image enhancement to be applied to the second image from the characteristics of first image.
3. A handheld electronic device according to claim 2 wherein the processor samples at least some of the intensities of the three color components of the first image and adjusts the operation of the analogue to digital converter to provide per channel color correction of the second image.
4. A handheld electronic device according to claim 1 wherein the processor uses color conversion to achieve special effects in the image printed by the inkjet printer.
5. A handheld electronic device according to claim 4 wherein the special effects are selected from at least of:
sepia style;
black and white; and,
traditional colorized black and white.
6. A handheld electronic device according to claim 1 wherein the image manipulation is selected from at least one of:
resizing to passport;
resizing to panoramic;
wild color effects; and,
kaleidoscopic effects.
7. A handheld electronic device according to claim 1 wherein the processor adds additional elements to the printed image.
8. A handheld electronic device according to claim 7 wherein the additional elements are clip art, borders, edge effects, or blank post card markings.
9. A handheld electronic device according to claim 1 wherein the device is a digital camera.
10. A handheld electronic device according to claim 9 wherein the digital camera carries a supply of media substrate on which the image is printed such that the camera is single use and is discarded once the media substrate supply is exhausted.
Beschreibung
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    The present application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/113,094 filed on Jul. 10, 1998 all of which are herein incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates substantially to the concept of a disposable camera having instant printing capabilities and in particular, discloses a method of color correction in a digital camera.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Recently, the concept of a “single use” disposable camera has become an increasingly popular consumer item. Disposable camera systems presently on the market normally include an internal film roll and a simplified gearing mechanism for traversing the film roll across an imaging system including a shutter and lensing system. The user, after utilising a single film roll returns the camera system to a film development centre for processing. The film roll is taken out of the camera system and processed and the prints returned to the user. The camera system is then able to be re-manufactured through the insertion of a new film roll into the camera system, the replacement of any worn or wearable parts and the re-packaging of the camera system in accordance with requirements. In this way, the concept of a single use “disposable” camera is provided to the consumer.
  • [0004]
    Recently, a camera system has been proposed by the present applicant which provides for a handheld camera device having an internal printhead, image sensor and processing means such that images sense by the image sensing means, are processed by the processing means and adapted to be instantly printed out by the printing means on demand. The proposed camera system further discloses a system of internal “print rolls” carrying print media such as film on to which images are to be printed in addition to ink for supplying to the printing means for the printing process. The print roll is further disclosed to be detachable and replaceable within the camera system.
  • [0005]
    Unfortunately, such a system is likely to only be constructed at a substantial cost and it would be desirable to provide for a more inexpensive form of instant camera system which maintains a substantial number of the quality aspects of the aforementioned arrangement.
  • [0006]
    It would be advantageous to provide for a camera system having an effective color correction or gamma remapping capability.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0000]
    In a first aspect the present invention provides a method of colour correcting a sensed image before printing by a hand held camera system, said camera system including:
  • [0007]
    an image sensor device for sensing an image;
  • [0008]
    a processing means for processing said sensed image; and
  • [0009]
    a printing system including a printhead for printing out said sensed image; wherein the method of colour correcting a sensed image before printing comprises:
      • utilizing said image sensor device to sense a first image;
      • processing said first image to determine colour characteristics of said first image;
      • utilizing said image sensor device to sense a second image, in rapid succession to said first image;
      • applying colour correction to said second image based on the determined colour characteristics of said first image; and
      • printing out said second image by said printhead.
        Optionally said second image is sensed within 1 second of said first image.
        Optionally said processing step includes examining the intensity characteristics of said first image.
        Optionally said processing step includes determining a maximum and minimum intensity of said first image and utilizing said intensities to rescale the intensities of said second image.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    Notwithstanding any other forms which may fall within the scope of the present invention, preferred forms of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
  • [0016]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a front perspective view of the assembled camera of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a rear perspective view, partly exploded, of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the chassis of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the chassis illustrating mounting of electric motors;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the ink supply mechanism of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 6 is rear perspective of the assembled form of the ink supply mechanism of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of the assembled form of the ink supply mechanism of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of the platten unit of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the assembled form of the platten unit;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 10 is also a perspective view of the assembled form of the platten unit;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 11 is an exploded perspective view of the printhead recapping mechanism of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 12 is a close up exploded perspective view of the recapping mechanism of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view of the ink supply cartridge of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 14 is a close up perspective view, partly in section of the internal portions of the ink supply cartridge in an assembled form;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 15 is a schematic block diagram of one form of chip layer of the image capture and processing chip of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 16 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the assembly process of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 17 illustrates a front exploded perspective view of the assembly process of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 18 illustrates a perspective view of the assembly process of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 19 illustrates a perspective view of the assembly process of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 20 is a perspective view illustrating the insertion of the platten unit in the preferred embodiment;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 21 illustrates the interconnection of the electrical components of the preferred embodiment;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 22 illustrates the process of assembling the preferred embodiment; and
  • [0038]
    FIG. 23 is a perspective view further illustrating the assembly process of the preferred embodiment.
  • DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED AND OTHER EMBODIMENTS
  • [0039]
    Turning to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 there an illustrated perspective views of an assembled camera constructed in accordance with the preferred embodiment with FIG. 1 showing a front perspective view and FIG. 2 showing a rear perspective view. The camera 1 includes a paper or plastic film jacket 2 which can include simplified instructions 3 for the operation of the camera system 1. The camera system 1 includes a first “take” button 4 which is depressed to capture an image. The captured image is output via output slot 6. A further copy of the image can be obtained through depressing a second “printer copy” button 7 whilst an LED light 5 is illuminated. The camera system also provides the usual view finder 8 in addition to a CCD image capture/lensing system 9.
  • [0040]
    The camera system 1 provides for a standard number of output prints after which the camera system 1 ceases to function. A prints left indicator slot 10 is provided to indicate the number of remaining prints. A refund scheme at the point of purchase is assumed to be operational for the return of used camera systems for recycling.
  • [0041]
    Turning now to FIG. 3, the assembly of the camera system is based around an internal chassis 12 which can be a plastic injection molded part. A pair of paper pinch rollers 28, 29 utilized for decurling are snap fitted into corresponding frame holes eg. 26, 27.
  • [0042]
    As shown in FIG. 4, the chassis 12 includes a series of mutually opposed prongs eg. 13, 14 into which is snap fitted a series of electric motors 16, 17. The electric motors 16, 17 can be entirely standard with the motor 16 being of a stepper motor type. The motors 16, 17 include cogs 19, 20 for driving a series of gear wheels. A first set of gear wheels is provided for controlling a paper cutter mechanism and a second set is provided for controlling print roll movement.
  • [0043]
    Turning next to FIGS. 5 to 7, there is illustrated an ink supply mechanism 40 utilized in the camera system. FIG. 5 illustrates a rear exploded perspective view, FIG. 6 illustrates a assembled perspective view and FIG. 7 illustrates a front assembled view. The ink supply mechanism 40 is based around an ink supply cartridge 42 which contains printer ink and a printhead mechanism for printing out pictures on demand. The ink supply cartridge 42 includes a side aluminium strip 43 which is provided as a shear strip to assist in cutting images from a paper roll.
  • [0044]
    A dial mechanism 44 is provided for indicating the number of “prints left”. The dial mechanism 44 is snap fitted through a corresponding mating portion 46 so as to be freely rotatable.
  • [0045]
    As shown in FIG. 6, the mechanism 40 includes a flexible PCB strip 47 which interconnects with the printhead and provides for control of the printhead. The interconnection between the Flex PCB strip and an image sensor and printhead chip can be via Tape Automated Bonding (TAB) strips 51, 58. A moulded aspherical lens and aperture shim 50 (FIG. 5) is also provided for imaging an image onto the surface of the image sensor chip normally located within cavity 53 and a light box module or hood 52 is provided for snap fitting over the cavity 53 so as to provide for proper light control. A series of decoupling capacitors eg. 34 can also be provided. Further a plug 45 (FIG. 7) is provided for re-plugging ink holes after refilling. A series of guide prongs eg. 55-57 are further provided for guiding the flexible PCB strip 47.
  • [0046]
    The ink supply mechanism 40 interacts with a platten unit 60 which guides print media under a printhead located in the ink supply mechanism. FIG. 8 shows an exploded view of the platten unit 60, while FIGS. 9 and 10 show assembled views of the platten unit. The platten unit 60 includes a first pinch roller 61 which is snap fitted to one side of a platten base 62. Attached to a second side of the platten base 62 is a cutting mechanism 63 which traverses the platen unit 60 by means of a rod 64 having a screw thread which is rotated by means of cogged wheel 65 which is also fitted to the platen base 62. The screw threaded rod 64 mounts a block 67 which includes a cutting wheel 68 fastened via a fastener 69. Also mounted to the block 67 is a counter actuator which includes a pawl 71. The pawl 71 acts to rotate the dial mechanism 44 of FIG. 6 upon the return traversal of the cutting wheel. As shown previously in FIG. 6, the dial mechanism 44 includes a cogged surface which interacts with pawl 71, thereby maintaining a count of the number of photographs by means of numbers embossed on the surface of dial mechanism 44. The cutting mechanism 63 is inserted into the platten base 62 by means of a snap fit via clips 74.
  • [0047]
    The platten unit 60 includes an internal recapping mechanism 80 for recapping the printhead when not in use. The recapping mechanism 80 includes a sponge portion 81 and is operated via a solenoid coil so as to provide for recapping of the printhead. In the preferred embodiment, there is provided an inexpensive form of printhead re-capping mechanism provided for incorporation into a handheld camera system so as to provide for printhead re-capping of an inkjet printhead.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 11 illustrates an exploded view of the recapping mechanism whilst FIG. 12 illustrates a close up of the end portion thereof. The re-capping mechanism 80 is structured around a solenoid including a 16 turn coil 75 which can comprise insulated wire. The coil 75 is turned around a first stationery solenoid arm 76 which is mounted on a bottom surface of the platen base 62 (FIG. 8) and includes a post portion 77 to magnify effectiveness of operation. The arm 76 can comprise a ferrous material.
  • [0049]
    A second moveable arm 78 of the solenoid actuator is also provided. The arm 78 is moveable and also is made of ferrous material. Mounted on the arm is a sponge portion surrounded by an elastomer strip 79. The elastomer strip 79 is of a generally arcuate cross-section and acts as a leaf spring against the surface of the printhead ink supply cartridge 42 (FIG. 5) so as to provide for a seal against the surface of the printhead ink supply cartridge 42. In the quiescent position elastomer spring units 87, 88 act to resiliently deform the elastomer seal 79 against the surface of the ink supply unit 42.
  • [0050]
    When it is desired to operate the printhead unit, upon the insertion of paper, the solenoid coil 75 is activated so as to cause the arm 78 to move down to be adjacent to the end plate 76. The arm 78 is held against end plate 76 while the printhead is printing by means of a small “keeper current” in coil 75. Simulation results indicate that the keeper current can be significantly less than the actuation current. Subsequently, after photo printing, the paper is guillotined by the cutting mechanism 63 of FIG. 8 acting against Aluminium Strip 43, and rewound so as to clear the area of the re-capping mechanism 80. Subsequently, the current is turned off and springs 87, 88 return the arm 78 so that the elastomer seal is again resting against the printhead ink supply cartridge.
  • [0051]
    It can be seen that the preferred embodiment provides for a simple and inexpensive means of re-capping a printhead through the utilisation of a solenoid type device having a long rectangular form. Further, the preferred embodiment utilises minimal power in that currents are only required whilst the device is operational and additionally, only a low keeper current is required whilst the printhead is printing.
  • [0052]
    Turning next to FIGS. 13 and 14, FIG. 13 illustrates an exploded perspective of the ink supply cartridge 42 whilst FIG. 14 illustrates a close up sectional view of a bottom of the ink supply cartridge with the printhead unit in place. The ink supply cartridge 42 is based around a pagewidth printhead 102 which comprises a long slither of silicon having a series of holes etched on the back surface for the supply of ink to a front surface of the silicon wafer for subsequent ejection via a micro electro mechanical system. The form of ejection can be many different forms such as those set out in the tables below.
  • [0053]
    Of course, many other inkjet technologies, as referred to the attached tables below, can also be utilised when constructing a printhead unit 102. The fundamental requirement of the ink supply cartridge 42 is the supply of ink to a series of colour channels etched through the back surface of the printhead 102. In the description of the preferred embodiment, it is assumed that a three colour printing process is to be utilised so as to provide full colour picture output. Hence, the print supply unit includes three ink supply reservoirs being a cyan reservoir 104, a magenta reservoir 105 and a yellow reservoir 106. Each of these reservoirs is required to store ink and includes a corresponding sponge type material 107-109 which assists in stabilising ink within the corresponding ink channel and inhibiting the ink from sloshing back and forth when the printhead is utilised in a handheld camera system. The reservoirs 104, 105, 106 are formed through the mating of first exterior plastic piece 110 and a second base piece 111.
  • [0054]
    At a first end 118 of the base piece 111 a series of air inlets 113-115 are provided. Each air inlet leads to a corresponding winding channel which is hydrophobically treated so as to act as an ink repellent and therefore repel any ink that may flow along the air inlet channel. The air inlet channel further takes a convoluted path further assisting in resisting any ink flow out of the chambers 104-106. An adhesive tape portion 117 is provided for sealing the channels within end portion 118.
  • [0055]
    At the top end, there is included a series of refill holes (not shown) for refilling corresponding ink supply chambers 104, 105, 106. A plug 121 is provided for sealing the refill holes.
  • [0056]
    Turning now to FIG. 14, there is illustrated a close up perspective view, partly in section through the ink supply cartridge 42 of FIG. 13 when formed as a unit. The ink supply cartridge includes the three colour ink reservoirs 104, 105, 106 which supply ink to different portions of the back surface of printhead 102 which includes a series of apertures 128 defined therein for carriage of the ink to the front surface.
  • [0057]
    The ink supply cartridge 42 includes two guide walls 124, 125 which separate the various ink chambers and are tapered into an end portion abutting the surface of the printhead 102. The guide walls 124, 125 are further mechanically supported by block portions eg. 126 which are placed at regular intervals along the length of the ink supply unit. The block portions 126 leave space at portions close to the back of printhead 102 for the flow of ink around the back surface thereof.
  • [0058]
    The ink supply unit is preferably formed from a multi-part plastic injection mold and the mold pieces eg. 110, 111 (FIG. 13) snap together around the sponge pieces 107, 109. Subsequently, a syringe type device can be inserted in the ink refill holes and the ink reservoirs filled with ink with the air flowing out of the air outlets 113-115. Subsequently, the adhesive tape portion 117 and plug 121 are attached and the printhead tested for operation capabilities. Subsequently, the ink supply cartridge 42 can be readily removed for refilling by means of removing the ink supply cartridge, performing a washing cycle, and then utilising the holes for the insertion of a refill syringe filled with ink for refilling the ink chamber before returning the ink supply cartridge 42 to a camera.
  • [0059]
    Turning now to FIG. 15, there is shown an example layout of the Image Capture and Processing Chip (ICP) 48.
  • [0060]
    The Image Capture and Processing Chip 48 provides most of the electronic functionality of the camera with the exception of the printhead chip. The chip 48 is a highly integrated system. It combines CMOS image sensing, analog to digital conversion, digital image processing, DRAM storage, ROM, and miscellaneous control functions in a single chip.
  • [0061]
    The chip is estimated to be around 32 mm2 using a leading edge 0.18 micron CMOS/DRAM/APS process. The chip size and cost can scale somewhat with Moore's law, but is dominated by a CMOS active pixel sensor array 201, so scaling is limited as the sensor pixels approach the diffraction limit.
  • [0062]
    The ICP 48 includes CMOS logic, a CMOS image sensor, DRAM, and analog circuitry. A very small amount of flash memory or other non-volatile memory is also preferably included for protection against reverse engineering.
  • [0063]
    Alternatively, the ICP can readily be divided into two chips: one for the CMOS imaging array, and the other for the remaining circuitry. The cost of this two chip solution should not be significantly different than the single chip ICP, as the extra cost of packaging and bond-pad area is somewhat cancelled by the reduced total wafer area requiring the color filter fabrication steps.
  • [0064]
    The ICP preferably contains the following functions:
    Function
    1.5 megapixel image sensor
    Analog Signal Processors
    Image sensor column decoders
    Image sensor row decoders
    Analogue to Digital Conversion (ADC)
    Column ADC's
    Auto exposure
    12 Mbits of DRAM
    DRAM Address Generator
    Color interpolator
    Convolver
    Color ALU
    Halftone matrix ROM
    Digital halftoning
    printhead interface
    8 bit CPU core
    Program ROM
    Flash memory
    Scratchpad SRAM
    Parallel interface (8 bit)
    Motor drive transistors (5)
    Clock PLL
    JTAG test interface
    Test circuits
    Busses
    Bond pads
  • [0065]
    The CPU, DRAM, Image sensor, ROM, Flash memory, Parallel interface, JTAG interface and ADC can be vendor supplied cores. The ICP is intended to run on 1.5V to minimize power consumption and allow convenient operation from two AA type battery cells.
  • [0066]
    FIG. 15 illustrates a layout of the ICP 48. The ICP 48 is dominated by the imaging array 201, which consumes around 80% of the chip area. The imaging array is a CMOS 4 transistor active pixel design with a resolution of 1,500×1,000. The array can be divided into the conventional configuration, with two green pixels, one red pixel, and one blue pixel in each pixel group. There are 750×500 pixel groups in the imaging array.
  • [0067]
    The latest advances in the field of image sensing and CMOS image sensing in particular can be found in the October, 1997 issue of IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices and, in particular, pages 1689 to 1968. Further, a specific implementation similar to that disclosed in the present application is disclosed in Wong et. al, “CMOS Active Pixel Image Sensors Fabricated Using a 1.8V, 0.25 μm CMOS Technology”, IEDM 1996, page 915
  • [0068]
    The imaging array uses a 4 transistor active pixel design of a standard configuration. To minimize chip area and therefore cost, the image sensor pixels should be as small as feasible with the technology available. With a four transistor cell, the typical pixel size scales as 20 times the lithographic feature size. This allows a minimum pixel area of around 3.6 μm×3.6 μm. However, the photosite must be substantially above the diffraction limit of the lens. It is also advantageous to have a square photosite, to maximize the margin over the diffraction limit in both horizontal and vertical directions. In this case, the photosite can be specified as 2.5 μm×2.5 μm. The photosite can be a photogate, pinned photodiode, charge modulation device, or other sensor.
  • [0069]
    The four transistors are packed as an ‘L’ shape, rather than a rectangular region, to allow both the pixel and the photosite to be square. This reduces the transistor packing density slightly, increasing pixel size. However, the advantage in avoiding the diffraction limit is greater than the small decrease in packing density.
  • [0070]
    The transistors also have a gate length which is longer than the minimum for the process technology. These have been increased from a drawn length of 0.18 micron to a drawn length of 0.36 micron. This is to improve the transistor matching by making the variations in gate length represent a smaller proportion of the total gate length.
  • [0071]
    The extra gate length, and the ‘L’ shaped packing, mean that the transistors use more area than the minimum for the technology. Normally, around 8 μm2 would be required for rectangular packing. Preferably, 9.75 μm2 has been allowed for the transistors.
  • [0072]
    The total area for each pixel is 16 μm2, resulting from a pixel size of 4 μm×4 μm. With a resolution of 1,500×1,000, the area of the imaging array 101 is 6,000 μm×4,000 μm, or 24 mm2.
  • [0073]
    The presence of a color image sensor on the chip affects the process required in two major ways:
      • The CMOS fabrication process should be optimized to minimize dark current
  • [0075]
    Color filters are required. These can be fabricated using dyed photosensitive polyimides, resulting in an added process complexity of three spin coatings, three photolithographic steps, three development steps, and three hardbakes.
  • [0076]
    There are 15,000 analog signal processors (ASPs) 205, one for each of the columns of the sensor. The ASPs amplify the signal, provide a dark current reference, sample and hold the signal, and suppress the fixed pattern noise (FPN).
  • [0077]
    There are 375 analog to digital converters 206, one for each four columns of the sensor array. These may be delta-sigma or successive approximation type ADC's. A row of low column ADC's are used to reduce the conversion speed required, and the amount of analog signal degradation incurred before the signal is converted to digital. This also eliminates the hot spot (affecting local dark current) and the substrate coupled noise that would occur if a single high speed ADC was used. Each ADC also has two four bit DAC's which trim the offset and scale of the ADC to further reduce FPN variations between columns. These DAC's are controlled by data stored in flash memory during chip testing.
  • [0078]
    The column select logic 204 is a 1:1500 decoder which enables the appropriate digital output of the ADCs onto the output bus. As each ADC is shared by four columns, the least significant two bits of the row select control 4 input analog multiplexers.
  • [0079]
    A row decoder 207 is a 1:1000 decoder which enables the appropriate row of the active pixel sensor array. This selects which of the 1000 rows of the imaging array is connected to analog signal processors. As the rows are always accessed in sequence, the row select logic can be implemented as a shift register.
  • [0080]
    An auto exposure system 208 adjusts the reference voltage of the ADC 205 in response to the maximum intensity sensed during the previous frame period. Data from the green pixels is passed through a digital peak detector. The peak value of the image frame period before capture (the reference frame) is provided to a digital to analogue converter (DAC), which generates the global reference voltage for the column ADCs. The peak detector is reset at the beginning of the reference frame. The minimum and maximum values of the three RGB color components are also collected for color correction.
  • [0081]
    The second largest section of the chip is consumed by a DRAM 210 used to hold the image. To store the 1,500×1,000 image from the sensor without compression, 1.5 Mbytes of DRAM 210 are required. This equals 12 Mbits, or slightly less than 5% of a 256 Mbit DRAM. The DRAM technology assumed is of the 256 Mbit generation implemented using 0.18 μm CMOS.
  • [0082]
    Using a standard 8F cell, the area taken by the memory array is 3.11 mm2. When row decoders, column sensors, redundancy, and other factors are taken into account, the DRAM requires around 4 mm2.
  • [0083]
    This DRAM 210 can be mostly eliminated if analog storage of the image signal can be accurately maintained in the CMOS imaging array for the two seconds required to print the photo. However, digital storage of the image is preferable as it is maintained without degradation, is insensitive to noise, and allows copies of the photo to be printed considerably later.
  • [0084]
    A DRAM address generator 211 provides the write and read addresses to the DRAM 210. Under normal operation, the write address is determined by the order of the data read from the CMOS image sensor 201. This will typically be a simple raster format. However, the data can be read from the sensor 201 in any order, if matching write addresses to the DRAM are generated. The read order from the DRAM 210 will normally simply match the requirements of a color interpolator and the printhead. As the cyan, magenta, and yellow rows of the printhead are necessarily offset by a few pixels to allow space for nozzle actuators, the colors are not read from the DRAM simultaneously. However, there is plenty of time to read all of the data from the DRAM many times during the printing process. This capability is used to eliminate the need for FIFOs in the printhead interface, thereby saving chip area. All three RGB image components can be read from the DRAM each time color data is required. This allows a color space converter to provide a more sophisticated conversion than a simple linear RGB to CMY conversion.
  • [0085]
    Also, to allow two dimensional filtering of the image data without requiring line buffers, data is re-read from the DRAM array.
  • [0086]
    The address generator may also implement image effects in certain models of camera. For example, passport photos are generated by a manipulation of the read addresses to the DRAM. Also, image framing effects (where the central image is reduced), image warps, and kaleidoscopic effects can all be generated by manipulating the read addresses of the DRAM.
  • [0087]
    While the address generator 211 may be implemented with substantial complexity if effects are built into the standard chip, the chip area required for the address generator is small, as it consists only of address counters and a moderate amount of random logic.
  • [0088]
    A color interpolator 214 converts the interleaved pattern of red, 2× green, and blue pixels into RGB pixels. It consists of three 8 bit adders and associated registers. The divisions are by either 2 (for green) or 4 (for red and blue) so they can be implemented as fixed shifts in the output connections of the adders.
  • [0089]
    A convolver 215 is provided as a sharpening filter which applies a small convolution kernel (5×5) to the red, green, and blue planes of the image. The convolution kernel for the green plane is different from that of the red and blue planes, as green has twice as many samples. The sharpening filter has five functions:
      • To improve the color interpolation from the linear interpolation provided by the color interpolator, to a close approximation of a sync interpolation.
      • To compensate for the image ‘softening’ which occurs during digitization.
      • To adjust the image sharpness to match average consumer preferences, which are typically for the image to be slightly sharper than reality. As the single use camera is intended as a consumer product, and not a professional photographic products, the processing can match the most popular settings, rather than the most accurate.
      • To suppress the sharpening of high frequency (individual pixel) noise. The function is similar to the ‘unsharp mask’ process.
      • To antialias Image Warping.
  • [0095]
    These functions are all combined into a single convolution matrix. As the pixel rate is low (less than 1 Mpixel per second) the total number of multiplies required for the three color channels is 56 million multiplies per second. This can be provided by a single multiplier. Fifty bytes of coefficient ROM are also required.
  • [0096]
    A color ALU 113 combines the functions of color compensation and color space conversion into the one matrix multiplication, which is applied to every pixel of the frame. As with sharpening, the color correction should match the most popular settings, rather than the most accurate.
  • [0097]
    A color compensation circuit of the color ALU provides compensation for the lighting of the photo. The vast majority of photographs are substantially improved by a simple color compensation, which independently normalizes the contrast and brightness of the three color components.
  • [0098]
    A color look-up table (CLUT) 212 is provided for each color component. These are three separate 256×8 SRAMs, requiring a total of 6,144 bits. The CLUTs are used as part of the color correction process. They are also used for color special effects, such as stochastically selected “wild color” effects.
  • [0099]
    A color space conversion system of the color ALU converts from the RGB color space of the image sensor to the CMY color space of the printer. The simplest conversion is a l's complement of the RGB data. However, this simple conversion assumes perfect linearity of both color spaces, and perfect dye spectra for both the color filters of the image sensor, and the ink dyes. At the other extreme is a tri-linear interpolation of a sampled three dimensional arbitrary transform table. This can effectively match any non-linearity or differences in either color space. Such a system is usually necessary to obtain good color space conversion when the print engine is a color electrophotographic.
  • [0100]
    However, since the non-linearity of a halftoned ink jet output is very small, a simpler system can be used. A simple matrix multiply can provide excellent results. This requires nine multiplies and six additions per contone pixel. However, since the contone pixel rate is low (less than 1 Mpixel/sec) these operations can share a single multiplier and adder. The multiplier and adder are used in a color ALU which is shared with the color compensation function.
  • [0101]
    Digital halftoning can be performed as a dispersed dot ordered dither using a stochastic optimized dither cell. A halftone matrix ROM 216 is provided for storing dither cell coefficients. A dither cell size of 32×32 is adequate to ensure that the cell repeat cycle is not visible. The three colors—cyan, magenta, and yellow—are all dithered using the same cell, to ensure maximum co-positioning of the ink dots. This minimizes ‘muddying’ of the mid-tones which results from bleed of dyes from one dot to adjacent dots while still wet. The total ROM size required is 1 KByte, as the one ROM is shared by the halftoning units for each of the three colors.
  • [0102]
    The digital halftoning used is dispersed dot ordered dither with stochastic optimized dither matrix. While dithering does not produce an image quite as ‘sharp’ as error diffusion, it does produce a more accurate image with fewer artifacts. The image sharpening produced by error diffusion is artificial, and less controllable and accurate than ‘unsharp mask’ filtering performed in the contone domain. The high print resolution (1,600 dpi×1,600 dpi) results in excellent quality when using a well formed stochastic dither matrix.
  • [0103]
    Digital halftoning is performed by a digital halftoning unit 217 using a simple comparison between the contone information from the DRAM 210 and the contents of the dither matrix 216. During the halftone process, the resolution of the image is changed from the 250 dpi of the captured contone image to the 1,600 dpi of the printed image. Each contone pixel is converted to an average of 40.96 halftone dots.
  • [0104]
    The ICP incorporates a 16 bit microcontroller CPU core 219 to run the miscellaneous camera functions, such as reading the buttons, controlling the motor and solenoids, setting up the hardware, and authenticating the refill station. The processing power required by the CPU is very modest, and a wide variety of processor cores can be used. As the entire CPU program is run from a small ROM 220. Program compatibility between camera versions is not important, as no external programs are run. A 2 Mbit (256 Kbyte) program and data ROM 220 is included on chip. Most of this ROM space is allocated to data for outline graphics and fonts for specialty cameras. The program requirements are minor. The single most complex task is the encrypted authentication of the refill station. The ROM requires a single transistor per bit.
  • [0105]
    A Flash memory 221 may be used to store a 128 bit authentication code. This provides higher security than storage of the authentication code in ROM, as reverse engineering can be made essentially impossible. The Flash memory is completely covered by third level metal, making the data impossible to extract using scanning probe microscopes or electron beams. The authentication code is stored in the chip when manufactured. At least two other Flash bits are required for the authentication process: a bit which locks out reprogramming of the authentication code, and a bit which indicates that the camera has been refilled by an authenticated refill station. The flash memory can also be used to store FPN correction data for the imaging array. Additionally, a phase locked loop rescaling parameter is stored and provided for scaling the clocking cycle to an appropriate correct time. The clock frequency does not require crystal accuracy since no date functions are provided. To eliminate the cost of a crystal, an on chip oscillator with a phase locked loop 224 is used. As the frequency of an on-chip oscillator is highly variable from chip to chip, the frequency ratio of the oscillator to the PLL is digitally trimmed during initial testing. The value is stored in Flash memory 221. This allows the clock PLL to control the ink-jet heater pulse width with sufficient accuracy.
  • [0106]
    A scratchpad SRAM is a small static RAM 222 with a 6T cell. The scratchpad provides temporary memory for the 16 bit CPU. 1024 bytes is adequate.
  • [0107]
    A printhead interface 223 formats the data correctly for the printhead. The printhead interface also provides all of the timing signals required by the printhead. These timing signals may vary depending upon temperature, the number of dots printed simultaneously, the print medium in the print roll, and the dye density of the ink in the print roll.
  • [0108]
    The following is a table of external connections to the printhead interface:
    Connection Function Pins
    DataBits[0-7] Independent serial data to the eight 8
    segments of the printhead
    BitClock Main data clock for the printhead 1
    ColorEnable[0-2] Independent enable signals for the CMY 3
    actuators, allowing different pulse times
    for each color.
    BankEnable[0-1] Allows either simultaneous or interleaved 2
    actuation of two banks of nozzles. This
    allows two different print speed/power
    consumption tradeoffs
    NozzleSelect[0-4] Selects one of 32 banks of nozzles for 5
    simultaneous actuation
    ParallelXferClock Loads the parallel transfer register with 1
    the data from the shift registers
    Total 20
  • [0109]
    The printhead utilized is composed of eight identical segments, each 1.25 cm long. There is no connection between the segments on the printhead chip. Any connections required are made in the external TAB bonding film, which is double sided. The division into eight identical segments is to simplify lithography using wafer steppers. The segment width of 1.25 cm fits easily into a stepper field. As the printhead chip is long and narrow (10 cm×0.3 mm), the stepper field contains a single segment of 32 printhead chips. The stepper field is therefore 1.25 cm×1.6 cm. An average of four complete printheads are patterned in each wafer step.
  • [0110]
    A single BitClock output line connects to all 8 segments on the printhead. The 8 DataBits lines lead one to each segment, and are clocked in to the 8 segments on the printhead simultaneously (on a BitClock pulse). For example, dot 0 is transferred to segment0, dot 750 is transferred to segment1, dot 1500 to segment2 etc simultaneously.
  • [0111]
    The ParallelXferClock is connected to each of the 8 segments on the printhead, so that on a single pulse, all segments transfer their bits at the same time.
  • [0112]
    The NozzleSelect, BankEnable and ColorEnable lines are connected to each of the 8 segments, allowing the printhead interface to independently control the duration of the cyan, magenta, and yellow nozzle energizing pulses. Registers in the printhead Interface allow the accurate specification of the pulse duration between 0 and 6 ms, with a typical duration of 2 ms to 3 ms.
  • [0113]
    A parallel interface 125 connects the ICP to individual static electrical signals. The CPU is able to control each of these connections as memory mapped I/O via a low speed bus.
  • [0114]
    The following is a table of connections to the parallel interface:
    Connection Direction Pins
    Paper transport stepper motor Output 4
    Capping solenoid Output 1
    Copy LED Output 1
    Photo button Input 1
    Copy button Input 1
    Total 8
  • [0115]
    Seven high current drive transistors eg. 227 are required. Four are for the four phases of the main stepper motor, two are for the guillotine motor, and the remaining transistor is to drive the capping solenoid. These transistors are allocated 20,000 square microns (600,000 F) each. As the transistors are driving highly inductive loads, they must either be turned off slowly, or be provided with a high level of back EMF protection. If adequate back EMF protection cannot be provided using the chip process chosen, then external discrete transistors should be used. The transistors are never driven at the same time as the image sensor is used. This is to avoid voltage fluctuations and hot spots affecting the image quality. Further, the transistors are located as far away from the sensor as possible.
  • [0116]
    A standard JTAG (Joint Test Action Group) interface 228 is included in the ICP for testing purposes and for interrogation by the refill station. Due to the complexity of the chip, a variety of testing techniques are required, including BIST (Built In Self Test) and functional block isolation. An overhead of 10% in chip area is assumed for chip testing circuitry for the random logic portions. The overhead for the large arrays, the image sensor and the DRAM is smaller.
  • [0117]
    The JTAG interface is also used for authentication of the refill station. This is included to ensure that the cameras are only refilled with quality paper and ink at a properly constructed refill station, thus preventing inferior quality refills from occurring. The camera must authenticate the refill station, rather than vice versa. The secure protocol is communicated to the refill station during the automated test procedure. Contact is made to four gold plated spots on the ICP/printhead TAB by the refill station as the new ink is injected into the printhead.
  • [0118]
    FIG. 16 illustrates a rear view of the next step in the construction process whilst FIG. 17 illustrates a front camera view.
  • [0119]
    Turning now to FIG. 16, the assembly of the camera system proceeds via first assembling the ink supply mechanism 40. The flex PCB is interconnected with batteries 84 only one of which is shown, which are inserted in the middle portion of a print roll 85 which is wrapped around a plastic former 86. An end cap 89 is provided at the other end of the print roll 85 so as to fasten the print roll and batteries firmly to the ink supply mechanism.
  • [0120]
    The solenoid coil is interconnected (not shown) to interconnects 97, 98 (FIG. 8) which include leaf spring ends for interconnection with electrical contacts on the Flex PCB so as to provide for electrical control of the solenoid.
  • [0121]
    Turning now to FIGS. 17-19 the next step in the construction process is the insertion of the relevant gear trains into the side of the camera chassis. FIG. 17 illustrates a front view. FIG. 18 illustrates a rear view and FIG. 19 also illustrates a rear view. The first gear trains comprising gear wheels 22, 23 are utilised for driving the guillotine blade with the gear wheel 23 engaging the gear wheel 65 of FIG. 8. The second gear chain comprising gear wheels 24, 25 and 26 engage one end of the print roller 61 of FIG. 8. As best indicated in FIG. 18, the gear wheels mate with corresponding pins on the surface of the chassis with the gear wheel 26 being snap fitted into corresponding mating hole 27.
  • [0122]
    Next, as illustrated in FIG. 20, the assembled platten unit 60 is then inserted between the print roll 85 and aluminium cutting blade 43.
  • [0123]
    Turning now to FIG. 21, by way of illumination, there is illustrated the electrically interactive components of the camera system. As noted previously, the components are based around a Flex PCB board and include a TAB film 58 which interconnects the printhead 102 with the image sensor and processing chip 48. Power is supplied by two AA type batteries 83, 84 and a paper drive stepper motor 16 is provided in addition to a rotary guillotine motor 17.
  • [0124]
    An optical element 31 is provided for snapping into a top portion of the chassis 12. The optical element 31 includes portions defining an optical view finder 32, 33 which are slotted into mating portions 35, 36 in view finder channel 37. Also provided in the optical element 31 is a lensing system 38 for magnification of the “prints left” number in addition to an optical pipe element 39 for piping light from the LED 5 for external display.
  • [0125]
    Turning next to FIG. 22, the assembled unit 90 is then inserted into a front outer case 91 which includes button 4 for activation of printouts.
  • [0126]
    Turning now to FIG. 23, next, the unit 90 is provided with a snap-on back cover 93 which includes a slot 6 and copy print button 7. A wrapper label containing instructions and advertising (not shown) is then wrapped around the outer surface of the camera system and pinch clamped to the cover by means of clamp strip 96 which can comprise a flexible plastic or rubber strip.
  • [0127]
    Subsequently, the preferred embodiment is ready for use as a one time use camera system that provides for instant output images on demand.
  • [0128]
    It will be evident that the preferred embodiment further provides for a refillable camera system. A used camera can be collected and its outer plastic cases removed and recycled. A new paper roll and batteries can be added and the ink cartridge refilled. A series of automatic test routines can then be carried out to ensure that the printer is properly operational. Further, in order to ensure only authorised refills are conducted so as to enhance quality, routines in the on-chip program ROM can be executed such that the camera authenticates the refilling station using a secure protocol. Upon authentication, the camera can reset an internal paper count and an external case can be fitted on the camera system with a new outer label. Subsequent packing and shipping can then take place.
  • [0129]
    It will be further readily evident to those skilled in the art that the program ROM can be modified so as to allow for a variety of digital processing routines. In addition to the digitally enhanced photographs optimised for mainstream consumer preferences, various other models can readily be provided through mere re-programming of the program ROM. For example, a sepia classic old fashion style output can be provided through a remapping of the colour mapping function. A further alternative is to provide for black and white outputs again through a suitable colour remapping algorithm. Minimum colour can also be provided to add a touch of colour to black and white prints to produce the effect that was traditionally used to colourize black and white photos. Further, passport photo output can be provided through suitable address remappings within the address generators. Further, edge filters can be utilised as is known in the field of image processing to produce sketched art styles. Further, classic wedding borders and designs can be placed around an output image in addition to the provision of relevant clip arts. For example, a wedding style camera might be provided. Further, a panoramic mode can be provided so as to output the well known panoramic format of images. Further, a postcard style output can be provided through the printing of postcards including postage on the back of a print roll surface. Further, cliparts can be provided for special events such as Halloween, Christmas etc. Further, kaleidoscopic effects can be provided through address remappings and wild colour effects can be provided through remapping of the colour lookup table. Many other forms of special event cameras can be provided for example, cameras dedicated to the Olympics, movie tie-ins, advertising and other special events.
  • [0130]
    The operational mode of the camera can be programmed so that upon the depressing of the take photo a first image is sampled by the sensor array to determine relevant parameters. Next a second image is again captured which is utilised for the output. The captured image is then manipulated in accordance with any special requirements before being initially output on the paper roll. The LED light is then activated for a predetermined time during which the DRAM is refreshed so as to retain the image. If the print copy button is depressed during this predetermined time interval, a further copy of the photo is output. After the predetermined time interval where no use of the camera has occurred, the onboard CPU shuts down all power to the camera system until such time as the take button is again activated. In this way, substantial power savings can be realized.
  • [0000]
    Ink Jet Technologies
  • [0131]
    The embodiments of the invention use an ink jet printer type device. Of course many different devices could be used. However presently popular ink jet printing technologies are unlikely to be suitable.
  • [0132]
    The most significant problem with thermal ink jet is power consumption. This is approximately 100 times that required for high speed, and stems from the energy-inefficient means of drop ejection. This involves the rapid boiling of water to produce a vapor bubble which expels the ink. Water has a very high heat capacity, and must be superheated in thermal ink jet applications. This leads to an efficiency of around 0.02%, from electricity input to drop momentum (and increased surface area) out.
  • [0133]
    The most significant problem with piezoelectric ink jet is size and cost. Piezoelectric crystals have a very small deflection at reasonable drive voltages, and therefore require a large area for each nozzle. Also, each piezoelectric actuator must be connected to its drive circuit on a separate substrate. This is not a significant problem at the current limit of around 300 nozzles per printhead, but is a major impediment to the fabrication of pagewidth printheads with 19,200 nozzles.
  • [0134]
    Ideally, the ink jet technologies used meet the stringent requirements of in-camera digital color printing and other high quality, high speed, low cost printing applications. To meet the requirements of digital photography, new ink jet technologies have been created. The target features include:
  • [0135]
    low power (less than 10 Watts)
  • [0136]
    high resolution capability (1,600 dpi or more)
  • [0137]
    photographic quality output
  • [0138]
    low manufacturing cost
  • [0139]
    small size (pagewidth times minimum cross section)
  • [0140]
    high speed (<2 seconds per page).
  • [0141]
    All of these features can be met or exceeded by the ink jet systems described below with differing levels of difficulty. Forty five different ink jet technologies have been developed by the Assignee to give a wide range of choices for high volume manufacture. These technologies form part of separate applications assigned to the present Assignee as set out in the table under the heading CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS.
  • [0142]
    The ink jet designs shown here are suitable for a wide range of digital printing systems, from battery powered one-time use digital cameras, through to desktop and network printers, and through to commercial printing systems
  • [0143]
    For ease of manufacture using standard process equipment, the printhead is designed to be a monolithic 0.5 micron CMOS chip with MEMS post processing. For color photographic applications, the printhead is 100 mm long, with a width which depends upon the ink jet type. The smallest print head designed is IJ38, which is 0.35 mm wide, giving a chip area of 35 square mm. The printheads each contain 19,200 nozzles plus data and control circuitry.
  • [0144]
    Ink is supplied to the back of the printhead by injection molded plastic ink channels. The molding requires 50 micron features, which can be created using a lithographically micromachined insert in a standard injection molding tool. Ink flows through holes etched through the wafer to the nozzle chambers fabricated on the front surface of the wafer. The printhead is connected to the camera circuitry by tape automated bonding.
  • [0000]
    Cross-Referenced Applications
  • [0145]
    The following table is a guide to cross-referenced patent applications filed concurrently herewith and discussed hereinafter with the reference being utilized in subsequent tables when referring to a particular case.
    Docket Refer-
    No. ence Title
    IJ01US IJ01 Radiant Plunger Ink Jet Printer
    IJ02US IJ02 Electrostatic Ink Jet Printer
    IJ03US IJ03 Planar Thermoelastic Bend Actuator Ink Jet
    IJ04US IJ04 Stacked Electrostatic Ink Jet Printer
    IJ05US IJ05 Reverse Spring Lever Ink Jet Printer
    IJ06US IJ06 Paddle Type Ink Jet Printer
    IJ07US IJ07 Permanent Magnet Electromagnetic Ink Jet Printer
    IJ08US IJ08 Planar Swing Grill Electromagnetic Ink Jet Printer
    IJ09US IJ09 Pump Action Refill Ink Jet Printer
    IJ10US IJ10 Pulsed Magnetic Field Ink Jet Printer
    IJ11US IJ11 Two Plate Reverse Firing Electromagnetic Ink Jet
    Printer
    IJ12US IJ12 Linear Stepper Actuator Ink Jet Printer
    IJ13US IJ13 Gear Driven Shutter Ink Jet Printer
    IJ14US IJ14 Tapered Magnetic Pole Electromagnetic Ink Jet Printer
    IJ15US IJ15 Linear Spring Electromagnetic Grill Ink Jet Printer
    IJ16US IJ16 Lorenz Diaphragm Electromagnetic Ink Jet Printer
    IJ17US IJ17 PTFE Surface Shooting Shuttered Oscillating
    Pressure Ink Jet Printer
    IJ18US IJ18 Buckle Grip Oscillating Pressure Ink Jet Printer
    IJ19US IJ19 Shutter Based Ink Jet Printer
    IJ20US IJ20 Curling Calyx Thermoelastic Ink Jet Printer
    IJ21US IJ21 Thermal Actuated Ink Jet Printer
    IJ22US IJ22 Iris Motion Ink Jet Printer
    IJ23US IJ23 Direct Firing Thermal Bend Actuator Ink Jet Printer
    IJ24US IJ24 Conductive PTFE Ben Activator Vented Ink Jet Printer
    IJ25US IJ25 Magnetostrictive Ink Jet Printer
    IJ26US IJ26 Shape Memory Alloy Ink Jet Printer
    IJ27US IJ27 Buckle Plate Ink Jet Printer
    IJ28US IJ28 Thermal Elastic Rotary Impeller Ink Jet Printer
    IJ29US IJ29 Thermoelastic Bend Actuator Ink Jet Printer
    IJ30US IJ30 Thermoelastic Bend Actuator Using PTFE and
    Corrugated Copper Ink Jet Printer
    IJ31US IJ31 Bend Actuator Direct Ink Supply Ink Jet Printer
    IJ32US IJ32 A High Young's Modulus Thermoelastic Ink
    Jet Printer
    IJ33US IJ33 Thermally actuated slotted chamber wall ink jet printer
    IJ34US IJ34 Ink Jet Printer having a thermal actuator comprising an
    external coiled spring
    IJ35US IJ35 Trough Container Ink Jet Printer
    IJ36US IJ36 Dual Chamber Single Vertical Actuator Ink Jet
    IJ37US IJ37 Dual Nozzle Single Horizontal Fulcrum Actuator
    Ink Jet
    IJ38US IJ38 Dual Nozzle Single Horizontal Actuator Ink Jet
    IJ39US IJ39 A single bend actuator cupped paddle ink jet printing
    device
    IJ40US IJ40 A thermally actuated ink jet printer having a series of
    thermal actuator units
    IJ41US IJ41 A thermally actuated ink jet printer including a tapered
    heater element
    IJ42US IJ42 Radial Back-Curling Thermoelastic Ink Jet
    IJ43US IJ43 Inverted Radial Back-Curling Thermoelastic Ink Jet
    IJ44US IJ44 Surface bend actuator vented ink supply ink jet printer
    IJ45US IJ45 Coil Actuated Magnetic Plate Ink Jet Printer

    Tables of Drop-on-Demand Ink Jets
  • [0146]
    Eleven important characteristics of the fundamental operation of individual ink jet nozzles have been identified. These characteristics are largely orthogonal, and so can be elucidated as an eleven dimensional matrix. Most of the eleven axes of this matrix include entries developed by the present assignee.
  • [0147]
    The following tables form the axes of an eleven dimensional table of ink jet types.
  • [0148]
    Actuator mechanism (18 types)
  • [0149]
    Basic operation mode (7 types)
  • [0150]
    Auxiliary mechanism (8 types)
  • [0151]
    Actuator amplification or modification method (17 types)
  • [0152]
    Actuator motion (19 types)
  • [0153]
    Nozzle refill method (4 types)
  • [0154]
    Method of restricting back-flow through inlet (10 types)
  • [0155]
    Nozzle clearing method (9 types)
  • [0156]
    Nozzle plate construction (9 types)
  • [0157]
    Drop ejection direction (5 types)
  • [0158]
    Ink type (7 types)
  • [0159]
    The complete eleven dimensional table represented by these axes contains 36.9 billion possible configurations of ink jet nozzle. While not all of the possible combinations result in a viable ink jet technology, many million configurations are viable. It is clearly impractical to elucidate all of the possible configurations. Instead, certain ink jet types have been investigated in detail. These are designated IJ01 to IJ45 above which match the docket numbers in the table under the heading Cross References to Related Applications.
  • [0160]
    Other ink jet configurations can readily be derived from these forty-five examples by substituting alternative configurations along one or more of the 11 axes. Most of the IJ01 to IJ45 examples can be made into ink jet print heads with characteristics superior to any currently available ink jet technology.
  • [0161]
    Where there are prior art examples known to the inventor, one or more of these examples are listed in the examples column of the tables below. The IJ01 to IJ45 series are also listed in the examples column. In some cases, a print technology may be listed more than once in a table, where it shares characteristics with more than one entry.
  • [0162]
    Suitable applications for the ink jet technologies include: Home printers, Office network printers, Short run digital printers, Commercial print systems, Fabric printers, Pocket printers, Internet WWW printers, Video printers, Medical imaging, Wide format printers, Notebook PC printers, Fax machines, Industrial printing systems, Photocopiers, Photographic minilabs etc.
  • [0163]
    The information associated with the aforementioned 11 dimensional matrix are set out in the following tables.
    Actuator
    Mechanism Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    Thermal An electrothermal heater Large force generated High power Canon Bubblejet 1979
    bubble heats the ink to above Simple construction Ink carrier limited to water Endo et al GB patent
    boiling point, transferring No moving parts Low efficiency 2,007,162
    significant heat to the Fast operation High temperatures required Xerox heater-in-pit 1990
    aqueous ink. A bubble Small chip area required for High mechanical stress Hawkins et al U.S.
    nucleates and quickly actuator Unusual materials required Pat. No. 4,899,181
    forms, expelling the ink. Large drive transistors Hewlett-Packard TIJ
    The efficiency of the Cavitation causes actuator failure 1982 Vaught et al U.S.
    process is low, with Kogation reduces bubble formation Pat. No. 4,490,728
    typically less than 0.05% Large print heads are difficult to fabricate
    of the electrical energy
    being transformed into
    kinetic energy of the drop.
    Piezoelectric A piezoelectric crystal Low power consumption Very large area required for actuator Kyser et al U.S. Pat. No.
    such as lead lanthanum Many ink types can be used Difficult to integrate with electronics 3,946,398
    zirconate (PZT) is Fast operation High voltage drive transistors required Zoltan U.S. Pat. No.
    electrically activated, and High efficiency Full pagewidth print heads impractical due 3,683,212 1973 Stemme
    either expands, shears, or to actuator size U.S. Pat. No. 3,747,120
    bends to apply pressure to Requires electrical poling in high field Epson Stylus
    the ink, ejecting drops. strengths during manufacture Tektronix
    IJ04
    Electro- An electric field is used Low power consumption Low maximum strain (approx. 0.01%) Seiko Epson, Usui et all
    strictive to activate Many ink types can be used Large area required for actuator due to low JP 253401/96
    electrostriction in relaxor Low thermal expansion strain IJ04
    materials such as lead Electric field strength required Response speed is marginal (˜10 μs)
    lanthanum zirconate (approx. 3.5 V/μm) can be High voltage drive transistors required
    titanate (PLZT) or lead generated without difficulty Full pagewidth print heads impractical due
    magnesium niobate (PMN). Does not require electrical to actuator size
    poling
    Ferroelectric An electric field is used Low power consumption Difficult to integrate with electronics IJ04
    to induce a phase Many ink types can be used Unusual materials such as PLZSnT are
    transition between the Fast operation(<1 μs) required
    antiferroelectric (AFE) and Relatively high longitudinal Actuators require a large area
    ferroelectric (FE) phase. strain
    Perovskite materials such High efficiency
    as tin modified lead Electric field strength of around
    lanthanum zirconate 3 V/μm can be readily provided
    titanate (PLZSnT) exhibit
    large strains of up to 1%
    associated with the AFE to
    FE phase transition.
    Electrostatic Conductive plates are Low power consumption Difficult to operate electrostatic devices in IJ02, IJ04
    plates separated by a compressible Many ink types can be used an aqueous environment
    or fluid dielectric Fast operation The electrostatic actuator will normally
    (usually air). Upon need to be separated from the ink
    application of a voltage, Very large area required to achieve high
    the plates attract each forces
    other and displace ink, High voltage drive transistors may be
    causing drop ejection. The required
    conductive plates may be in Full pagewidth print heads are not
    a comb or honeycomb competitive due to actuator size
    structure, or stacked to
    increase the surface area
    and therefore the force.
    Electrostatic A strong electric field is Low current consumption High voltage required 1989 Saito et al, U.S.
    pull on ink applied to the ink, Low temperature May be damaged by sparks due to air Pat. No. 4,799,068
    whereupon electrostatic breakdown 1989 Miura et al, U.S.
    attraction accelerates the Required field strength increases as the drop Pat. No. 4,810,954
    ink towards the print size decreases Tone-jet
    medium. High voltage drive transistors required
    Electrostatic field attracts dust
    Permanent An electromagnet directly Low power consumption Complex fabrication IJ07, IJ10
    magnet attracts a permanent Many ink types can be used Permanent magnetic material such as
    electro- magnet, displacing ink and Fast operation Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB) required.
    magnetic causing drop ejection. Rare High efficiency High local currents required
    earth magnets with a field Easy extension from single Copper metalization should be used for long
    strength around 1 Tesla can nozzles to pagewidth print electromigration lifetime and low resistivity
    be used. Examples are: heads Pigmented inks are usually infeasible
    Samarium Cobalt (SaCo) and Operating temperature limited to the Curie
    magnetic materials in the temperature (around 540 K)
    neodymium iron boron family
    (NdFeB, NdDyFeBNb,
    NdDyFeB, etc)
    Soft A solenoid induced a Low power consumption Complex fabrication IJ01, IJ05, IJ08, IJ10
    magnetic magnetic field in a soft Many ink types can be used Materials not usually present in a CMOS IJ12, IJ14, IJ15, IJ17
    core magnetic core or yoke Fast operation fab such as NiFe, CoNiFe, or CoFe are
    electro- fabricated from a ferrous High efficiency required
    magnetic material such as Easy extension from single High local currents required
    electroplated iron alloys nozzles to pagewidth print Copper metalization should be used for long
    such as CoNiFe [1], CoFe, heads electromigration lifetime and low resistivity
    or NiFe alloys. Typically, Electroplating is required
    the soft magnetic material High saturation flux density is required
    is in two parts, which are (2.0-2.1 T is achievable with CoNiFe [1])
    normally held apart by a
    spring. When the solenoid
    is actuated, the two parts
    attract, displacing the
    ink.
    Magnetic The Lorenz force acting on Low power consumption Force acts as a twisting motion IJ06, IJ11, IJ13, IJ16
    Lorenz force a current carrying wire in Many ink types can be used Typically, only a quarter of the solenoid
    a magnetic field is Fast operation length provides force in a useful direction
    utilized. High efficiency High local currents required
    This allows the magnetic Easy extension from single Copper metalization should be used for long
    field to be supplied nozzles to pagewidth print electromigration lifetime and low resistivity
    externally to the print heads Pigmented inks are usually infeasible
    head, for example with rare
    earth permanent magnets.
    Only the current carrying
    wire need be fabricated on
    the print-head, simplifying
    materials requirements.
    Magneto- The actuator uses the giant Many ink types can be used Force acts as a twisting motion Fischenbeck, U.S.
    striction magnetostrictive effect of Fast operation Unusual materials such as Terfenol-D are Pat. No. 4,032,929
    materials such as Terfenol- Easy extension from single required IJ25
    D (an alloy of terbium, nozzles to pagewidth print High local currents required
    dysprosium and iron heads Copper metalization should be used for long
    developed at the Naval High force is available electromigration lifetime and low resistivity
    Ordnance Laboratory, hence Pre-stressing may be required
    Ter-Fe-NOL). For best
    efficiency, the actuator
    should be pre-stressed to
    approx. 8 MPa.
    Surface Ink under positive pressure Low power consumption Requires supplementary force to effect drop Silverbrook, EP 0771
    tension is held in a nozzle by Simple construction separation 658 A2 and related
    reduction surface tension. The No unusual materials required Requires special ink surfactants patent applications
    surface tension of the ink in fabrication Speed may be limited by surfactant
    is reduced below the bubble High efficiency properties
    threshold, causing the ink Easy extension from single
    to egress from the nozzle. nozzles to pagewidth print
    heads
    Viscosity The ink viscosity is Simple construction Requires supplementary force to effect drop Silverbrook, EP 0771
    reduction locally reduced to select No unusual materials required separation 658 A2 and related
    which drops are to be in fabrication Requires special ink viscosity properties patent applications
    ejected. A viscosity Easy extension from single High speed is difficult to achieve
    reduction can be achieved nozzles to pagewidth print Requires oscillating ink pressure
    electrothermally with most heads A high temperature difference (typically 80
    inks, but special inks can degrees) is required
    be engineered for a 100:1
    viscosity reduction.
    Acoustic An acoustic wave is Can operate without a nozzle Complex drive circuitry 1993 Hadimioglu et al,
    generated and focussed upon plate Complex fabrication EUP 550,192
    the drop ejection region. Low efficiency 1993 Elrod et al, EUP
    Poor control of drop position 572,220
    Poor control of drop volume
    Thermo- An actuator which relies Low power consumption Efficient aqueous operation requires a IJ03, IJ09, IJ17, IJ18
    elastic upon differential thermal Many ink types can be used thermal insulator on the hot side IJ19, IJ20, IJ21, IJ22
    bend expansion upon Joule Simple planar fabrication Corrosion prevention can be difficult IJ23, IJ24, IJ27, IJ28
    actuator heating is used. Small chip area required for Pigmented inks may be infeasible, as IJ29, IJ30, IJ31, IJ32
    each actuator pigment particles may jam the bend actuator IJ33, IJ34, IJ35, IJ36
    Fast operation IJ37, IJ38, IJ39, IJ40
    High efficiency IJ41
    CMOS compatible voltages and
    currents
    Standard MEMS processes can
    be used
    Easy extension from single
    nozzles to pagewidth print
    heads
    High CTE A material with a very high High force can be generated Requires special material (e.g. PTFE) IJ09, IJ17, IJ18, IJ20
    thermoelastic coefficient of thermal PTFE is a candidate for low Requires a PTFE deposition process, which IJ21, IJ22, IJ23, IJ24
    actuator expansion (CTE) such as dielectric constant insulation in is not yet standard in ULSI fabs IJ27, IJ28, IJ29, IJ30
    polytetrafluoroethylene ULSI PTFE deposition cannot be followed with IJ31, IJ42, IJ43, IJ44
    (PTFE) is used. As high CTE Very low power consumption high temperature (above 350° C.) processing
    materials are usually non- Many ink types can be used Pigmented inks may be infeasible, as
    conductive, a heater Simple planar fabrication pigment particles may jam the bend actuator
    fabricated from a Small chip area required for
    conductive material is each actuator
    incorporated. A 50 μm long Fast operation
    PTFE bend actuator with High efficiency
    polysilicon heater and 15 mW CMOS compatible voltages and
    power input can provide currents
    180 μN force and 10 μm Easy extension from single
    deflection. Actuator nozzles to pagewidth print
    motions include: heads
    Bend
    Push
    Buckle
    Rotate
    Conductive A polymer with a high High force can be generated Requires special materials development IJ24
    polymer coefficient of thermal Very low power consumption (High CTE conductive polymer)
    thermoelastic expansion (such as PTFE) is Many ink types can be used Requires a PTFE deposition process, which
    actuator doped with conducting Simple planar fabrication is not yet standard in ULSI fabs
    substances to increase its Small chip area required for PTFE deposition cannot be followed with
    conductivity to about 3 each actuator high temperature (above 350° C.) processing
    orders of magnitude below Fast operation Evaporation and CVD deposition
    that of copper. The High efficiency techniques cannot be used
    conducting polymer expands CMOS compatible voltages and Pigmented inks may be infeasible, as
    when resistively heated. currents pigment particles may jam the bend actuator
    Examples of conducting Easy extension from single
    dopants include: nozzles to pagewidth print
    Carbon nanotubes heads
    Metal fibers
    Conductive polymers such as
    doped polythiophene
    Carbon granules
    Shape A shape memory alloy such High force is available (stresses Fatigue limits maximum number of cycles IJ26
    memory as TiNi (also known as of hundreds of MPa) Low strain (1%) is required to extend
    alloy Nitinol - Nickel Titanium Large strain is available (more fatigue resistance
    alloy developed at the than 3%) Cycle rate limited by heat removal
    Naval Ordnance Laboratory) High corrosion resistance Requires unusual materials (TiNi)
    is thermally switched Simple construction The latent heat of transformation must be
    between its weak Easy extension from single provided
    martensitic state and its nozzles to pagewidth print High current operation
    high stiffness austenic heads Requires pre-stressing to distort the
    state. The shape of the Low voltage operation martensitic state
    actuator in its martensitic
    state is deformed relative
    to the austenic shape. The
    shape change causes
    ejection of a drop.
    Linear Linear magnetic actuators Linear Magnetic actuators can Requires unusual semiconductor materials IJ12
    Magnetic include the Linear be constructed with high thrust, such as soft magnetic alloys (e.g. CoNiFe
    Actuator Induction Actuator (LIA), long travel, and high efficiency [1])
    Linear Permanent Magnet using planar semiconductor Some varieties also require permanent
    Synchronous Actuator fabrication techniques magnetic materials such as Neodymium
    (LPMSA), Linear Reluctance Long actuator travel is iron boron (NdFeB)
    Synchronous Actuator available Requires complex multi-phase drive
    (LRSA), Linear Switched Medium force is available circuitry
    Reluctance Actuator (LSRA), Low voltage operation High current operation
    and the Linear Stepper
    Actuator (LSA).
  • [0164]
    Operational
    mode Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    Actuator This is the simplest mode Simple operation Drop repetition rate is usually limited to Thermal inkjet
    directly of operation: the actuator No external fields required less than 10 KHz. However, this is not Piezoelectric inkjet
    pushes ink directly supplies Satellite drops can be avoided fundamental to the method, but is related to IJ01, IJ02, IJ03, IJ04
    sufficient kinetic energy if drop velocity is less than 4 the refill method normally used IJ05, IJ06, IJ07, IJ09
    to expel the drop. The drop m/s All of the drop kinetic energy must be IJ11, IJ12, IJ14, IJ16
    must have a sufficient Can be efficient, depending provided by the actuator IJ20, IJ22, IJ23, IJ24
    velocity to overcome the upon the actuator used Satellite drops usually form if drop velocity IJ25, IJ26, IJ27, IJ28
    surface tension. is greater than 4.5 m/s IJ29, IJ30, IJ31, IJ32
    IJ33, IJ34, IJ35, IJ36
    IJ37, IJ38, IJ39, IJ40
    IJ41, IJ42, IJ43, IJ44
    Proximity The drops to be printed are Very simple print head Requires close proximity between the print Silverbrook, EP 0771
    selected by some manner fabrication can be used head and the print media or transfer roller 658 A2 and related
    (e.g. thermally induced The drop selection means does May require two print heads printing patent applications
    surface tension reduction not need to provide the energy alternate rows of the image
    of pressurized ink). required to separate the drop Monolithic color print heads are difficult
    Selected drops are from the nozzle
    separated from the ink in
    the nozzle by contact with
    the print medium or a
    transfer roller.
    Electrostatic The drops to be printed are Very simple print head Requires very high electrostatic field Silverbrook, EP 0771
    pull on ink selected by some manner fabrication can be used Electrostatic field for small nozzle sizes is 658 A2 and related
    (e.g. thermally induced The drop selection means does above air breakdown patent applications
    surface tension reduction not need to provide the energy Electrostatic field may attract dust Tone-Jet
    of pressurized ink). required to separate the drop
    Selected drops are from the nozzle
    separated from the ink in
    the nozzle by a strong
    electric field.
    Magnetic The drops to be printed are Very simple print head Requires magnetic ink Silverbrook, EP 0771
    pull onselected by some manner fabrication can be used Ink colors other than black are difficult 658 A2 and related
    ink (e.g. thermally induced The drop selection means does Requires very high magnetic fields patent applications
    surface tension reduction not need to provide the energy
    of pressurized ink). required to separate the drop
    Selected drops are from the nozzle
    separated from the ink in
    the nozzle by a strong
    magnetic field acting on
    the magnetic ink.
    Shutter The actuator moves a High speed (>50 KHz) Moving parts are required IJ13, IJ17, IJ21
    shutter to block ink flow operation can be achieved due Requires ink pressure modulator
    to the nozzle. The ink to reduced refill time Friction and wear must be considered
    pressure is pulsed at a Drop timing can be very Stiction is possible
    multiple of the drop accurate
    ejection frequency. The actuator energy can be
    very low
    Shuttered The actuator moves a Actuators with small travel can Moving parts are required IJ08, IJ15, IJ18, IJ19
    grill shutter to block ink flow be used Requires ink pressure modulator
    through a grill to the Actuators with small force can Friction and wear must be considered
    nozzle. The shutter be used Stiction is possible
    movement need only be equal High speed (>50 KHz)
    to the width of the grill operation can be achieved
    holes.
    Pulsed A pulsed magnetic field Extremely low energy Requires an external pulsed magnetic field IJ10
    magnetic attracts an ‘ink pusher’ at operation is possible Requires special materials for both the
    pull on ink the drop ejection No heat dissipation problems actuator and the ink pusher
    pusher frequency. An actuator Complex construction
    controls a catch, which
    prevents the ink pusher
    from moving when a drop is
    not to be ejected.
  • [0165]
    Auxiliary
    Mechanism Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    None The actuator directly fires Simplicity of construction Drop ejection energy must be supplied by Most inkjets, including
    the ink drop, and there is Simplicity of operation individual nozzle actuator piezoelectric and
    no external field or other Small physical size thermal bubble.
    mechanism required. IJ01-IJ07, IJ09, IJ11
    IJ12, IJ14, IJ20, IJ22
    IJ23-IJ45
    Oscillating ink The ink pressure Oscillating ink pressure can Requires external ink pressure oscillator Silverbrook, EP 0771
    pressure oscillates, providing much provide a refill pulse, allowing Ink pressure phase and amplitude must be 658 A2 and related
    (including of the drop ejection higher operating speed carefully controlled patent applications
    acoustic energy. The actuator The actuators may operate with Acoustic reflections in the ink chamber IJ08, IJ13, IJ15, IJ17
    stimulation) selects which drops are to much lower energy must be designed for IJ18, IJ19, IJ21
    be fired by selectively Acoustic lenses can be used to
    blocking or enabling focus the sound on the nozzles
    nozzles. The ink pressure
    oscillation may be achieved
    by vibrating the print
    head, or preferably by an
    actuator in the ink supply.
    Media The print head is placed in Low power Precision assembly required Silverbrook, EP 0771
    proximity close proximity to the High accuracy Paper fibers may cause problems 658 A2 and related
    print medium. Selected Simple print head construction Cannot print on rough substrates patent applications
    drops protrude from the
    print head further than
    unselected drops, and
    contact the print medium.
    The drop soaks into the
    medium fast enough to cause
    drop separation.
    Transfer roller Drops are printed to a High accuracy Bulky Silverbrook, EP 0771
    transfer roller instead of Wide range of print substrates Expensive 658 A2 and related
    straight to the print can be used Complex construction patent applications
    medium. A transfer roller Ink can be dried on the transfer Tektronix hot melt
    can also be used for roller piezoelectric inkjet
    proximity drop separation. Any of the IJ series
    Electrostatic An electric field is used Low power Field strength required for separation of Silverbrook, EP 0771
    to accelerate selected Simple print head construction small drops is near or above air breakdown 658 A2 and related
    drops towards the print patent applications
    medium. Tone-Jet
    Direct A magnetic field is used to Low power Requires magnetic ink Silverbrook, EP 0771
    magnetic accelerate selected drops Simple print head construction Requires strong magnetic field 658 A2 and related
    field of magnetic ink towards the patent applications
    print medium.
    Cross magnetic The print head is placed in Does not require magnetic Requires external magnet IJ06, IJ16
    field a constant magnetic field. materials to be integrated in the Current densities may be high, resulting in
    The Lorenz force in a print head manufacturing electromigration problems
    current carrying wire is process
    used to move the actuator.
    Pulsed A pulsed magnetic field is Very low power operation is Complex print head construction IJ10
    magnetic used to cyclically attract possible Magnetic materials required in print head
    field a paddle, which pushes on Small print head size
    the ink. A small actuator
    moves a catch, which
    selectively prevents the
    paddle from moving.
  • [0166]
    Actuator
    amplification Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    None No actuator mechanical Operational simplicity Many actuator mechanisms have Thermal Bubble Inkjet
    amplification is used. The insufficient travel, or insufficient force, to IJ01, IJ02, IJ06, IJ07
    actuator directly drives efficiently drive the drop ejection process IJ16, IJ25, IJ26
    the drop ejection process.
    Differential An actuator material Provides greater travel in a High stresses are involved Piezoelectric
    expansion expands more on one side reduced print head area Care must be taken that the materials do not IJ03, IJ09, IJ17-IJ24
    bend than on the other. The The bend actuator converts a delaminate IJ27, IJ29-IJ39, IJ42,
    actuator expansion may be thermal, high force low travel actuator Residual bend resulting from high IJ43, IJ44
    piezoelectric, mechanism to high travel, temperature or high stress during formation
    magnetostrictive, or other lower force mechanism.
    mechanism.
    Transient A trilayer bend actuator Very good temperature stability High stresses are involved IJ40, IJ41
    bend where the two outside High speed, as a new drop can Care must be taken that the materials do not
    actuator layers are identical. This be fired before heat dissipates delaminate
    cancels bend due to ambient Cancels residual stress of
    temperature and residual formation
    stress. The actuator only
    responds to transient
    heating of one side or the
    other.
    Actuator A series of thin actuators Increased travel Increased fabrication complexity Some piezoelectric ink
    stack are stacked. This can be Reduced drive voltage Increased possibility of short circuits due to jets
    appropriate where actuators pinholes IJ04
    require high electric field
    strength, such as
    electrostatic and
    piezoelectric actuators.
    Multiple Multiple smaller actuators Increases the force available Actuator forces may not add linearly, IJ12, IJ13, IJ18, IJ20
    actuators are used simultaneously to from an actuator reducing efficiency IJ22, IJ28, IJ42, IJ43
    move the ink. Each actuator Multiple actuators can be
    need provide only a portion positioned to control ink flow
    of the force required. accurately
    Linear A linear spring is used to Matches low travel actuator Requires print head area for the spring IJ15
    Spring transform a motion with with higher travel requirements
    small travel and high force Non-contact method of motion
    into a longer travel, lower transformation
    force motion.
    Reverse The actuator loads a Better coupling to the ink Fabrication complexity IJ05, IJ11
    spring spring. When the actuator High stress in the spring
    is turned off, the spring
    releases. This can reverse
    the force/distance curve of
    the actuator to make it
    compatible with the
    force/time requirements of
    the drop ejection.
    Coiled A bend actuator is coiled Increases travel Generally restricted to planar IJ17, IJ21, IJ34, IJ35
    actuator to provide greater travel Reduces chip area implementations due to extreme fabrication
    in a reduced chip area. Planar implementations are difficulty in other orientations.
    relatively easy to fabricate.
    Flexure bend A bend actuator has a small Simple means of increasing Care must be taken not to exceed the elastic IJ10, IJ19, IJ33
    actuator region near the fixture travel of a bend actuator limit in the flexure area
    point, which flexes much Stress distribution is very uneven
    more readily than the Difficult to accurately model with finite
    remainder of the actuator. element analysis
    The actuator flexing is
    effectively converted from
    an even coiling to an
    angular bend, resulting in
    greater travel of the
    actuator tip.
    Gears Gears can be used to Low force, low travel actuators Moving parts are required IJ13
    increase travel at the can be used Several actuator cycles are required
    expense of duration. Can be fabricated using More complex drive electronics
    Circular gears, rack and standard surface MEMS Complex construction
    pinion, ratchets, and other processes Friction, friction, and wear are possible
    gearing methods can be
    used.
    Catch The actuator controls a Very low actuator energy Complex construction IJ10
    small catch. The catch Very small actuator size Requires external force
    either enables or disables Unsuitable for pigmented inks
    movement of an ink pusher
    that is controlled in a
    bulk manner.
    Buckle plate A buckle plate can be used Very fast movement achievable Must stay within elastic limits of the S. Hirata et al, “An Ink-
    to change a slow actuator materials for long device life jet Head . . . ”, Proc.
    into a fast motion. It can High stresses involved IEEE MEMS, February
    also convert a high force, Generally high power requirement 1996, pp 418-423.
    low travel actuator into a IJ18, IJ27
    high travel, medium force
    motion.
    Tapered A tapered magnetic pole can Linearizes the magnetic Complex construction IJ14
    magnetic increase travel at the force/distance curve
    pole expense of force.
    Lever A lever and fulcrum is used Matches low travel actuator High stress around the fulcrum IJ32, IJ36, IJ37
    to transform a motion with with higher travel requirements
    small travel and high force Fulcrum area has no linear
    into a motion with longer movement, and can be used for
    travel and lower force. The a fluid seal
    lever can also reverse the
    direction of travel.
    Rotary The actuator is connected High mechanical advantage Complex construction IJ28
    impeller to a rotary impeller. A The ratio of force to travel of Unsuitable for pigmented inks
    small angular deflection of the actuator can be matched to
    the actuator results in a the nozzle requirements by
    rotation of the impeller varying the number of impeller
    vanes, which push the ink vanes
    against stationary vanes
    and out of the nozzle.
    Acoustic A refractive or diffractive No moving parts Large area required 1993 Hadimioglu et al,
    lens (e.g. zone plate) acoustic Only relevant for acoustic ink jets EUP 550,192
    lens is used to concentrate 1993 Elrod et al, EUP
    sound waves. 572,220
    Sharp A sharp point is used to Simple construction Difficult to fabricate using standard VLSI Tone-jet
    conductive concentrate an processes for a surface ejecting ink-jet
    point electrostatic field. Only relevant for electrostatic ink jets
  • [0167]
    Actuator
    motion Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    Volume The volume of the actuator Simple construction in the case High energy is typically required to achieve Hewlett-Packard
    expansion changes, pushing the ink in of thermal ink jet volume expansion. This leads to thermal Thermal Inkjet
    all directions. stress, cavitation, and kogation in thermal Canon Bubblejet
    ink jet implementations
    Linear, normal The actuator moves in a Efficient coupling to ink drops High fabrication complexity may be IJ01, IJ02, IJ04, IJ07
    to chip surface direction normal to the ejected normal to the surface required to achieve perpendicular motion IJ11, IJ14
    print head surface. The
    nozzle is typically in the
    line of movement.
    Linear, parallel The actuator moves parallel Suitable for planar fabrication Fabrication complexity IJ12, IJ13, IJ15, IJ33,
    to chip surface to the print head surface. Friction IJ34, IJ35, IJ36
    Drop ejection may still be Stiction
    normal to the surface.
    Membrane An actuator with a high The effective area of the Fabrication complexity 1982 Howkins U.S.
    push force but small area is actuator becomes the Actuator size Pat. No. 4,459,601
    used to push a stiff membrane area Difficulty of integration in a VLSI process
    membrane that is in contact
    with the ink.
    Rotary The actuator causes the Rotary levers may be used to Device complexity IJ05, IJ08, IJ13, IJ28
    rotation of some element, increase travel May have friction at a pivot point
    such a grill or impeller Small chip area requirements
    Bend The actuator bends when A very small change in Requires the actuator to be made from at 1970 Kyser et al U.S.
    energized. This may be due dimensions can be converted to least two distinct layers, or to have a Pat. No. 3,946,398
    to differential thermal a large motion. thermal difference across the actuator 1973 Stemme U.S.
    expansion, piezoelectric Pat. No. 3,747,120
    expansion, IJ03, IJ09, IJ10, IJ19
    magnetostriction, or other IJ23, IJ24, IJ25, IJ29
    form of relative IJ30, IJ31, IJ33, IJ34
    dimensional change. IJ35
    Swivel The actuator swivels around Allows operation where the net Inefficient coupling to the ink motion IJ06
    a central pivot. This linear force on the paddle is
    motion is suitable where zero
    there are opposite forces Small chip area requirements
    applied to opposite sides
    of the paddle, e.g. Lorenz
    force.
    Straighten The actuator is normally Can be used with shape Requires careful balance of stresses to IJ26, IJ32
    bent, and straightens when memory alloys where the ensure that the quiescent bend is accurate
    energized. austenic phase is planar
    Double bend The actuator bends in one One actuator can be used to Difficult to make the drops ejected by both IJ36, IJ37, IJ38
    direction when one element power two nozzles. bend directions identical.
    is energized, and bends the Reduced chip size. A small efficiency loss compared to
    other way when another Not sensitive to ambient equivalent single bend actuators.
    element is energized. temperature
    Shear Energizing the actuator Can increase the effective Not readily applicable to other actuator 1985 Fishbeck U.S.
    causes a shear motion in travel of piezoelectric actuators mechanisms Pat. No. 4,584,590
    the actuator material.
    Radial The actuator squeezes an Relatively easy to fabricate High force required 1970 Zoltan U.S.
    constriction ink reservoir, forcing ink single nozzles from glass Inefficient Pat. No. 3,683,212
    from a constricted nozzle. tubing as macroscopic Difficult to integrate with VLSI processes
    structures
    Coil/uncoil A coiled actuator uncoils Easy to fabricate as a planar Difficult to fabricate for non-planar devices IJ17, IJ21, IJ34, IJ35
    or coils more tightly. The VLSI process Poor out-of-plane stiffness
    motion of the free end of Small area required, therefore
    the actuator ejects the low cost
    ink.
    Bow The actuator bows (or Can increase the speed of travel Maximum travel is constrained IJ16, IJ18, IJ27
    buckles) in the middle when Mechanically rigid High force required
    energized.
    Push-Pull Two actuators control a The structure is pinned at both Not readily suitable for inkjets which IJ18
    shutter. One actuator pulls ends, so has a high out-of-plane directly push the ink
    the shutter, and the other rigidity
    pushes it.
    Curl inwards A set of actuators curl Good fluid flow to the region Design complexity IJ20, IJ42
    inwards to reduce the behind the actuator increases
    volume of ink that they efficiency
    enclose.
    Curl outwards A set of actuators curl Relatively simple construction Relatively large chip area IJ43
    outwards, pressurizing ink
    in a chamber surrounding
    the actuators, and
    expelling ink from a nozzle
    in the chamber.
    Iris Multiple vanes enclose a High efficiency High fabrication complexity IJ22
    volume of ink. These Small chip area Not suitable for pigmented inks
    simultaneously rotate,
    reducing the volume between
    the vanes.
    Acoustic The actuator vibrates at a The actuator can be physically Large area required for efficient operation 1993 Hadimioglu et al,
    vibration high frequency. distant from the ink at useful frequencies EUP 550,192
    Acoustic coupling and crosstalk 1993 Elrod et al, EUP
    Complex drive circuitry 572,220
    Poor control of drop volume and position
    None In various ink jet designs No moving parts Various other tradeoffs are required to Silverbrook, EP 0771
    the actuator does not move, eliminate moving parts 658 A2 and related
    patent applications
    Tone-jet
  • [0168]
    Nozzle refill
    method Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    Surface tension After the actuator is Fabrication simplicity Low speed Thermal inkjet
    energized, it typically Operational simplicity Surface tension force relatively small Piezoelectric inkjet
    returns rapidly to its compared to actuator force IJ01-IJ07, IJ10-IJ14
    normal position. This rapid Long refill time usually dominates the total IJ16, IJ20, IJ22-IJ45
    return sucks in air through repetition rate
    the nozzle opening. The ink
    surface tension at the
    nozzle then exerts a small
    force restoring the
    meniscus to a minimum area.
    Shuttered Ink to the nozzle chamber High speed Requires common ink pressure oscillator IJ08, IJ13, IJ15, IJ17
    oscillating ink is provided at a pressure Low actuator energy, as the May not be suitable for pigmented inks IJ18, IJ19, IJ21
    pressure that oscillates at twice actuator need only open or
    the drop ejection close the shutter, instead of
    frequency. When a drop is ejecting the ink drop
    to be ejected, the shutter
    is opened for 3 half
    cycles: drop ejection,
    actuator return, and
    refill.
    Refill actuator After the main actuator has High speed, as the nozzle is Requires two independent actuators per IJ09
    ejected a drop a second actively refilled nozzle
    (refill) actuator is
    energized. The refill
    actuator pushes ink into
    the nozzle chamber. The
    refill actuator returns
    slowly, to prevent its
    return from emptying the
    chamber again.
    Positive ink The ink is held a slight High refill rate, therefore a high Surface spill must be prevented Silverbrook, EP 0771
    pressure positive pressure. After drop repetition rate is possible Highly hydrophobic print head surfaces are 658 A2 and related
    the ink drop is ejected, required patent applications
    the nozzle chamber fills Alternative for:
    quickly as surface tension IJ01-IJ07, IJ10-IJ14
    and ink pressure both IJ16, IJ20, IJ22-IJ45
    operate to refill the
    nozzle.
  • [0169]
    Inlet back-flow
    restriction
    method Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    Long inlet The ink inlet channel to Design simplicity Restricts refill rate Thermal inkjet
    channel the nozzle chamber is made Operational simplicity May result in a relatively large chip area Piezoelectric inkjet
    long and relatively narrow, Reduces crosstalk Only partially effective IJ42, IJ43
    relying on viscous drag to
    reduce inlet back-flow.
    Positive ink The ink is under a positive Drop selection and separation Requires a method (such as a nozzle rim or Silverbrook, EP 0771
    pressure pressure, so that in the forces can be reduced effective hydrophobizing, or both) to 658 A2 and related
    quiescent state some of the Fast refill time prevent flooding of the ejection surface of patent applications
    ink drop already protrudes the print head. Possible operation of the
    from the nozzle, following:
    This reduces the pressure IJ01-IJ07, IJ09-IJ12
    in the nozzle chamber IJ14, IJ16, IJ20, IJ22,
    which is required to IJ23-IJ34, IJ36-IJ41
    eject a certain volume IJ44
    of ink. The reduction
    in chamber
    pressure results in a
    reduction in ink pushed out
    through the inlet.
    Baffle One or more baffles are The refill rate is not as Design complexity HP Thermal Ink Jet
    placed in the inlet ink restricted as the long inlet May increase fabrication complexity (e.g. Tektronix piezoelectric
    flow. When the actuator is method. Tektronix hot melt Piezoelectric print ink jet
    energized, the rapid ink Reduces crosstalk heads).
    movement creates eddies
    which restrict the flow
    through the inlet. The
    slower refill process is
    unrestricted, and does not
    result in eddies.
    Flexible flap In this method recently Significantly reduces back-flow Not applicable to most inkjet configurations Canon
    restricts inlet disclosed by Canon, the for edge-shooter thermal ink jet Increased fabrication complexity
    expanding actuator (bubble) devices Inelastic deformation of polymer flap
    pushes on a flexible flap results in creep over extended use
    that restricts the inlet.
    Inlet filter A filter is located between Additional advantage of ink Restricts refill rate IJ04, IJ12, IJ24, IJ27
    the ink inlet and the filtration May result in complex construction IJ29, IJ30
    nozzle chamber. The filter Ink filter may be fabricated
    has a multitude of small with no additional process steps
    holes or slots, restricting
    ink flow. The filter also
    removes particles which
    may block the nozzle.
    Small inlet The ink inlet channel to Design simplicity Restricts refill rate IJ02, IJ37, IJ44
    compared to the nozzle chamber has a May result in a relatively large chip area
    nozzle substantially smaller cross Only partially effective
    section than that of the
    nozzle, resulting in
    easier ink egress out of
    the nozzle than out of the
    inlet.
    Inlet shutter A secondary actuator Increases speed of the ink-jet Requires separate refill actuator and drive IJ09
    controls the position of a print head operation circuit
    shutter, closing off the
    ink inlet when the main
    actuator is energized.
    The inlet is The method avoids the Back-flow problem is Requires careful design to minimize the IJ01, IJ03, IJ05, IJ06
    located behind problem of inlet back-flow eliminated negative pressure behind the paddle IJ07, IJ10, IJ11, IJ14
    the ink-pushing by arranging the ink- IJ16, IJ22, IJ23, IJ25
    surface pushing surface of the IJ28, IJ31, IJ32, IJ33
    actuator between the inlet IJ34, IJ35, IJ36, IJ39
    and the nozzle. IJ40, IJ41
    Part of the The actuator and a wall of Significant reductions in back- Small increase in fabrication complexity IJ07, IJ20, IJ26, IJ38
    actuator moves the ink chamber are flow can be achieved
    to shut off the arranged so that the motion Compact designs possible
    inlet of the actuator closes off
    the inlet.
    Nozzle actuator In some configurations of Ink back-flow problem is None related to ink back-flow on actuation Silverbrook, EP 0771
    does not result ink jet, there is no eliminated 658 A2 and related
    in ink expansion or movement patent applications
    back-flow of an actuator which Valve-jet
    may cause ink back-flow Tone-jet
    through the inlet. IJ08, IJ13, IJ15, IJ17
    IJ18, IJ19, IJ21
  • [0170]
    Nozzle
    Clearing
    method Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    Normal nozzle All of the nozzles are No added complexity on the May not be sufficient to displace dried ink Most ink jet systems
    firing fired periodically, before print head IJ01-IJ07, IJ09-IJ12
    the ink has a chance to IJ14, IJ16, IJ20, IJ22
    dry. When not in use the IJ23-IJ34, IJ36-IJ45
    nozzles are sealed (capped)
    against air.
    The nozzle firing is
    usually performed during a
    special clearing cycle,
    after first moving the
    print head to a cleaning
    station.
    Extra power to In systems which heat the Can be highly effective if the Requires higher drive voltage for clearing Silverbrook, EP 0771
    ink heater ink, but do not boil it heater is adjacent to the nozzle May require larger drive transistors 658 A2 and related
    under normal situations, patent applications
    nozzle clearing can be
    achieved by over-powering
    the heater and boiling ink
    at the nozzle.
    Rapid The actuator is fired in Does not require extra drive Effectiveness depends substantially upon May be used with:
    succession of rapid succession. In some circuits on the print head the configuration of the inkjet nozzle IJ01-IJ07, IJ09-IJ11
    actuator pulses configurations, this may Can be readily controlled and IJ14, IJ16, IJ20, IJ22
    cause heat build-up at the initiated by digital logic IJ23-IJ25, IJ27-IJ34
    nozzle which boils the ink, IJ36-IJ45
    clearing the nozzle. In
    other situations, it may
    cause sufficient vibrations
    to dislodge clogged
    nozzles.
    Extra power to Where an actuator is not A simple solution where Not suitable where there is a hard limit to May be used with:
    ink pushing normally driven to the applicable actuator movement IJ03, IJ09, IJ16, IJ20
    actuator limit of its motion, nozzle IJ23, IJ24, IJ25, IJ27
    clearing may be assisted by IJ29, IJ30, IJ31, IJ32
    providing an enhanced IJ39, IJ40, IJ41, IJ42
    drive signal to the IJ43, IJ44, IJ45
    actuator.
    Acoustic An ultrasonic wave is A high nozzle clearing High implementation cost if system does IJ08, IJ13, IJ15, IJ17
    resonance applied to the ink chamber. capability can be achieved not already include an acoustic actuator IJ18, IJ19, IJ21
    This wave is of an May be implemented at very
    appropriate amplitude and low cost in systems which
    frequency to cause already include acoustic
    sufficient force at the actuators
    nozzle to clear blockages.
    This is easiest to achieve
    if the ultrasonic wave is
    at a resonant frequency of
    the ink cavity.
    Nozzle clearing A microfabricated plate is Can clear severely clogged Accurate mechanical alignment is required Silverbrook, EP 0771
    plate pushed against the nozzles. nozzles Moving parts are required 658 A2 and related
    The plate has a post for There is risk of damage to the nozzles patent applications
    every nozzle. The array of Accurate fabrication is required
    posts
    Ink pressure The pressure of the ink is May be effective where other Requires pressure pump or other pressure May be used with all IJ
    pulse temporarily increased so methods cannot be used actuator series ink jets
    that ink streams from all Expensive
    of the nozzles. This may be Wasteful of ink
    used in conjunction with
    actuator energizing.
    Print head A flexible ‘blade’ is wiped Effective for planar print head Difficult to use if print head surface is non- Many ink jet systems
    wiper across the print head surfaces planar or very fragile
    surface. The blade is Low cost Requires mechanical parts
    usually fabricated from a Blade can wear out in high volume print
    flexible polymer, e.g. systems
    rubber or synthetic
    elastomer.
    Separate ink A separate heater is Can be effective where other Fabrication complexity Can be used with many
    boiling heater provided at the nozzle nozzle clearing methods cannot IJ series ink jets
    although the normal drop e- be used
    ection mechanism does not Can be implemented at no
    require it. The heaters do additional cost in some inkjet
    not require individual configurations
    drive circuits, as many
    nozzles can be cleared
    simultaneously, and no
    imaging is required.
  • [0171]
    Nozzle plate
    construction Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    Electroformed A nozzle plate is Fabrication simplicity High temperatures and pressures are Hewlett Packard
    nickel separately fabricated from required to bond nozzle plate Thermal Inkjet
    electroformed nickel, and Minimum thickness constraints
    bonded to the print head Differential thermal expansion
    chip.
    Laser ablated Individual nozzle holes are No masks required Each hole must be individually formed Canon Bubblejet
    or drilled ablated by an intense UV Can be quite fast Special equipment required 1988 Sercel et al., SPIE,
    polymer laser in a nozzle plate, Some control over nozzle Slow where there are many thousands of Vol. 998 Excimer Beam
    which is typically a profile is possible nozzles per print head Applications, pp. 76-83
    polymer such as polyimide Equipment required is May produce thin burrs at exit holes 1993 Watanabe et al.,
    or polysulphone relatively low cost U.S. Pat. No. 5,208,604
    Silicon A separate nozzle plate is High accuracy is attainable Two part construction K. Bean, IEEE
    micromachined micromachined from single High cost Transactions on Electron
    crystal silicon, and bonded Requires precision alignment Devices, Vol. ED-25,
    to the print head wafer. Nozzles may be clogged by adhesive No. 10, 1978, pp
    1185-1195
    Xerox 1990 Hawkins et
    al., U.S. Pat. No.
    4,899,181
    Glass Fine glass capillaries are No expensive equipment Very small nozzle sizes are difficult to form 1970 Zoltan
    capillaries drawn from glass tubing. required Not suited for mass production U.S. Pat No.
    This method has been used Simple to make single nozzles 3,683,212
    for making individual
    nozzles, but is difficult
    to use for bulk
    manufacturing of print
    heads with thousands of
    nozzles.
    Monolithic, The nozzle plate is High accuracy (<1 μm) Requires sacrificial layer under the nozzle Silverbrook, EP 0771
    surface deposited as a layer using Monolithic plate to form the nozzle chamber 658 A2 and related
    micromachined standard VLSI deposition Low cost Surface may be fragile to the touch patent applications
    using VLSI techniques. Nozzles are Existing processes can be used IJ01, IJ02, IJ04, IJ11
    lithographic etched in the nozzle plate IJ12, IJ17, IJ18, IJ20
    processes using VLSI lithography and IJ22, IJ24, IJ27, IJ28
    etching. IJ29, IJ30, IJ31, IJ32
    IJ33, IJ34, IJ36, IJ37
    IJ38, IJ39, IJ40, IJ41
    IJ42, IJ43, IJ44
    Monolithic, The nozzle plate is a High accuracy (<1 μm) Requires long etch times IJ03, IJ05, IJ06, IJ07
    etched through buried etch stop in the Monolithic Requires a support wafer IJ08, IJ09, IJ10, IJ13
    substrate wafer. Nozzle chambers are Low cost IJ14, IJ15, IJ16, IJ19
    etched in the front of the No differential expansion IJ21, IJ23, IJ25, IJ26
    wafer, and the wafer is
    thinned from the back side.
    Nozzles are then etched in
    the etch stop layer.
    No nozzle plate Various methods have been No nozzles to become clogged Difficult to control drop position accurately Ricoh 1995 Sekiya et al
    tried to eliminate the Crosstalk problems U.S. Pat. No. 5,412,413
    nozzles entirely, to 1993 Hadimioglu et al
    prevent nozzle clogging. EUP 550,192
    These include thermal 1993 Elrod et al EUP
    bubble mechanisms and 572,220
    acoustic lens mechanisms
    Trough Each drop ejector has a Reduced manufacturing Drop firing direction is sensitive to wicking. IJ35
    trough through which a complexity
    paddle moves. There is no Monolithic
    nozzle plate.
    Nozzle slit The elimination of nozzle No nozzles to become clogged Difficult to control drop position accurately 1989 Saito et al
    instead of holes and replacement by a Crosstalk problems U.S. Pat. No.
    individual slit encompassing many 4,799,068
    nozzles actuator positions reduces
    nozzle clogging, but
    increases crosstalk due to
    ink surface waves
  • [0172]
    Ejection
    direction Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    Edge Ink flow is along the Simple construction Nozzles limited to edge Canon Bubblejet 1979
    (‘edge surface of the chip, and No silicon etching required High resolution is difficult Endo et al GB patent
    shooter’) ink drops are ejected from Good heat sinking via substrate Fast color printing requires one print head 2,007,162
    the chip edge. Mechanically strong per color Xerox heater-in-pit 1990
    Ease of chip handing Hawkins et al
    U.S. Pat. No.
    4,899,181
    Tone-jet
    Surface Ink flow is along the No bulk silicon etching Maximum ink flow is severely restricted Hewlett-Packard TIJ
    (‘roof shooter’) surface of the chip, and required 1982 Vaught et al
    ink drops are ejected from Silicon can make an effective U.S. Pat. No. 4,490,728
    the chip surface, normal to heat sink IJ02, IJ11, IJ12, IJ20
    the plane of the chip. Mechanical strength IJ22
    Through chip, Ink flow is through the High ink flow Requires bulk silicon etching Silverbrook, EP 0771
    forward chip, and ink drops are Suitable for pagewidth print 658 A2 and related
    (‘up shooter’) ejected from the front High nozzle packing density patent applications
    surface of the chip. therefore low manufacturing IJ04, IJ17, IJ18, IJ24
    cost IJ27-IJ45
    Through chip, Ink flow is through the High ink flow Requires wafer thinning IJ01, IJ03, IJ05, IJ06
    reverse chip, and ink drops are Suitable for pagewidth print Requires special handling during IJ07, IJ08, IJ09, IJ10
    (‘down ejected from the rear High nozzle packing density manufacture IJ13, IJ14, IJ15, IJ16
    shooter’) surface of the chip. therefore low manufacturing IJ19, IJ21, IJ23, IJ25
    cost IJ26
    Through Ink flow is through the Suitable for piezoelectric print Pagewidth print heads require several Epson Stylus
    actuator actuator, which is not heads thousand connections to drive circuits Tektronix hot melt
    fabricated as part of the Cannot be manufactured in standard CMOS piezoelectric ink jets
    same substrate as the drive fabs
    transistors. Complex assembly required
  • [0173]
    Ink type Description Advantages Disadvantages Examples
    Aqueous, dye Water based ink which Environmentally friendly Slow drying Most existing inkjets
    typically contains: water, No odor Corrosive All IJ series ink jets
    dye, surfactant, humectant, Bleeds on paper Silverbrook, EP 0771
    and biocide. May strikethrough 658 A2 and related
    Modern ink dyes have high Cockles paper patent applications
    water-fastness, light
    fastness
    Aqueous, Water based ink which Environmentally friendly Slow drying IJ02, IJ04, IJ21, IJ26
    pigment typically contains: water, No odor Corrosive IJ27, IJ30
    pigment, surfactant, Reduced bleed Pigment may clog nozzles Silverbrook, EP 0771
    humectant, and biocide. Reduced wicking Pigment may clog actuator mechanisms 658 A2 and related
    Pigments have an advantage Reduced strikethrough Cockles paper patent applications
    in reduced bleed, wicking Piezoelectric ink-jets
    and strikethrough. Thermal ink jets (with
    significant restrictions)
    Methyl Ethyl MEK is a highly volatile Very fast drying Odorous All IJ series ink jets
    Ketone (MEK) solvent used for industrial Prints on various substrates Flammable
    printing on difficult such as metals and plastics
    surfaces such as aluminum
    cans.
    Alcohol Alcohol based inks can be Fast drying Slight odor All IJ series ink jets
    (ethanol, 2- used where the printer must Operates at sub-freezing Flammable
    butanol, and operate at temperatures temperatures
    others) below the freezing point of Reduced paper cockle
    water. An example of this Low cost
    is in-camera consumer
    photographic printing.
    Phase change The ink is solid at room No drying time-ink instantly High viscosity Tektronix hot melt
    (hot melt) temperature, and is melted freezes on the print medium Printed ink typically has a ‘waxy’ feel piezoelectric ink jets
    in the print head before Almost any print medium can Printed pages may ‘block’ 1989 Nowak U.S.
    jetting. Hot melt inks are be used Ink temperature may be above the curie Pat. No. 4,820,346
    usually wax based, with a No paper cockle occurs point of permanent magnets All IJ series ink jets
    melting point around 80° C. No wicking occurs Ink heaters consume power
    After jetting the ink No bleed occurs Long warm-up time
    freezes almost instantly No strikethrough occurs
    upon contacting the print
    medium or a transfer
    roller.
    Oil Oil based inks are High solubility medium for High viscosity: this is a significant All IJ series ink jets
    extensively used in offset some dyes limitation for use in inkjets, which usually
    printing. They have Does not cockle paper require a low viscosity. Some short chain
    advantages in improved Does not wick through paper and multi-branched oils have a sufficiently
    characteristics on paper low viscosity.
    (especially no wicking or Slow drying
    cockle). Oil soluble dies
    and pigments are required.
    Microemulsion A microemulsion is a Stops ink bleed Viscosity higher than water All IJ series ink jets
    stable, self forming High dye solubility Cost is slightly higher than water based ink
    emulsion of oil, water, and Water, oil, and amphiphilic High surfactant concentration required
    surfactant. The soluble dies can be used (around 5%)
    characteristic drop size is Can stabilize pigment
    less than 100 nm, and is suspensions
    determined by the preferred
    curvature of the
    surfactant.

    Ink Jet Printing
  • [0174]
    A large number of new forms of ink jet printers have been developed to facilitate alternative ink jet technologies for the image processing and data distribution system. Various combinations of ink jet devices can be included in printer devices incorporated as part of the present invention. Australian Provisional Patent Applications relating to these ink jets which are specifically incorporated by cross reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.
    US Patent/Patent
    Australian Application and
    Provisional Number Filing Date Title Filing Date
    PO8066 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,227,652
    Apparatus (IJ01) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8072 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,213,588
    Apparatus (IJ02) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8040 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,213,589
    Apparatus (IJ03) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8071 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,231,163
    Apparatus (IJ04) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8047 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,247,795
    Apparatus (IJ05) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8035 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,394,581
    Apparatus (IJ06) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8044 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,244,691
    Apparatus (IJ07) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8063 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,257,704
    Apparatus (IJ08) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8057 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,416,168
    Apparatus (IJ09) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8056 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,220,694
    Apparatus (IJ10) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8069 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,257,705
    Apparatus (IJ11) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8049 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,247,794
    Apparatus (IJ12) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8036 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,234,610
    Apparatus (IJ13) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8048 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,247,793
    Apparatus (IJ14) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8070 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,264,306
    Apparatus (IJ15) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8067 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,241,342
    Apparatus (IJ16) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8001 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,247,792
    Apparatus (IJ17) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8038 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,264,307
    Apparatus (IJ18) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8033 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,254,220
    Apparatus (IJ19) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8002 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,234,611
    Apparatus (IJ20) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8068 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,302,528
    Apparatus (IJ21) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8062 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,283,582
    Apparatus (IJ22) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8034 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,239,821
    Apparatus (IJ23) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8039 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,338,547
    Apparatus (IJ24) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8041 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,247,796
    Apparatus (IJ25) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8004 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 09/113,122
    Apparatus (IJ26) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8037 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,390,603
    Apparatus (IJ27) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8043 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,362,843
    Apparatus (IJ28) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8042 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,293,653
    Apparatus (IJ29) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8064 15-Jul-97 Image Creation Method and 6,312,107
    Apparatus (IJ30) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO9389 23-Sep-97 Image Creation Method and 6,227,653
    Apparatus (IJ31) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO9391 23-Sep-97 Image Creation Method and 6,234,609
    Apparatus (IJ32) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0888 12-Dec-97 Image Creation Method and 6,238,040
    Apparatus (IJ33) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0891 12-Dec-97 Image Creation Method and 6,188,415
    Apparatus (IJ34) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0890 12-Dec-97 Image Creation Method and 6,227,654
    Apparatus (IJ35) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0873 12-Dec-97 Image Creation Method and 6,209,989
    Apparatus (IJ36) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0993 12-Dec-97 Image Creation Method and 6,247,791
    Apparatus (IJ37) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0890 12-Dec-97 Image Creation Method and 6,336,710
    Apparatus (IJ38) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP1398 19-Jan-98 An Image Creation Method and 6,217,153
    Apparatus (IJ39) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP2592 25-Mar-98 An Image Creation Method and 6,416,167
    Apparatus (IJ40) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP2593 25-Mar-98 Image Creation Method and 6,243,113
    Apparatus (IJ41) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP3991 9-Jun-98 Image Creation Method and 6,283,581
    Apparatus (IJ42) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP3987 9-Jun-98 Image Creation Method and 6,247,790
    Apparatus (IJ43) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP3985 9-Jun-98 Image Creation Method and 6,260,953
    Apparatus (IJ44) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP3983 9-Jun-98 Image Creation Method and 6,267,469
    Apparatus (IJ45) (Jul. 10, 1998

    In Jet Manufacturing
  • [0175]
    Further, the present application may utilize advanced semiconductor fabrication techniques in the construction of large arrays of ink jet printers. Suitable manufacturing techniques are described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.
    US
    Australian Patent/Patent
    Provisional Application and
    Number Filing Date Title Filing Date
    PO7935 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,224,780
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM01) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO7936 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,235,212
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM02) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO7937 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,280,643
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM03) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8061 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,284,147
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM04) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8054 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,214,244
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM05) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8065 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,071,750
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM06) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8055 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,267,905
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM07) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8053 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,251,298
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM08) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8078 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,258,285
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM09) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO7933 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,225,138
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM10) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO7950 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,241,904
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM11) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO7949 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,299,786
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM12) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8060 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 09/113,124
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM13) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8059 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,231,773
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM14) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8073 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,190,931
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM15) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8076 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,248,249
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM16) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8075 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,290,862
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM17) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8079 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,241,906
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM18) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8050 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 09/113,116
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM19) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8052 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,241,905
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM20) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO7948 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,451,216
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM21) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO7951 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,231,772
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM22) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8074 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,274,056
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM23) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO7941 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,290,861
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM24) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8077 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,248,248
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM25) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8058 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,306,671
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM26) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8051 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,331,258
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM27) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8045 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,110,754
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM28) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO7952 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,294,101
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM29) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8046 15-Jul- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,416,679
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM30) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO8503 11-Aug- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,264,849
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM30a) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO9390 23-Sep- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,254,793
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM31) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PO9392 23-Sep- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,235,211
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM32) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0889 12-Dec- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,235,211
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM35) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0887 12-Dec- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,264,850
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM36) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0882 12-Dec- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,258,284
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM37) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0874 12-Dec- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,258,284
    97 Creation Apparatus (IJM38) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP1396 19-Jan- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,228,668
    98 Creation Apparatus (IJM39) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP2591 25-Mar- A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,180,427
    98 Creation Apparatus (IJM41) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP3989 9-Jun-98 A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,171,875
    Creation Apparatus (IJM40) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP3990 9-Jun-98 A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,267,904
    Creation Apparatus (IJM42) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP3986 9-Jun-98 A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,245,247
    Creation Apparatus (IJM43) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP3984 9-Jun-98 A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,245,247
    Creation Apparatus (IJM44) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP3982 9-Jun-98 A Method of Manufacture of an Image 6,231,148
    Creation Apparatus (IJM45) (Jul. 10, 1998

    Fluid Supply
  • [0176]
    Further, the present application may utilize an ink delivery system to the ink jet head. Delivery systems relating to the supply of ink to a series of ink jet nozzles are described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications, the disclosure of which are hereby incorporated by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.
    Australian US Patent/Patent
    Provisional Filing Application and
    Number Date Title Filing Date
    PO8003 15-Jul-97 Supply Method and 6,350,023
    Apparatus (F1) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8005 15-Jul-97 Supply Method and 6,318,849
    Apparatus (F2) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9404 23-Sep-97 A Device and Method 09/113,101
    (F3) (Jul. 10, 1998)

    MEMS Technology
  • [0177]
    Further, the present application may utilize advanced semiconductor microelectromechanical techniques in the construction of large arrays of ink jet printers. Suitable microelectromechanical techniques are described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.
    Australian US Patent/Patent
    Provisional Application and
    Number Filing Date Title Filing Date
    PO7943 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS01)
    PO8006 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS02) 6,087,638
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8007 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS03) 09/113,093
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8008 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS04) 6,340,222
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8010 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS05) 6,041,600
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8011 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS06) 6,299,300
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7947 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS07) 6,067,797
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7945 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS08) 09/113,081
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7944 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS09) 6,286,935
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7946 15-Jul-97 A device (MEMS10) 6,044,646
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9393 23-Sep-97 A Device and Method 09/113,065
    (MEMS11) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0875 12-Dec-97 A Device (MEMS12) 09/113,078
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0894 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 09/113,075
    (MEMS13) (Jul. 10, 1998)

    IR Technologies
  • [0178]
    Further, the present application may include the utilization of a disposable camera system such as those described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.
    Australian US Patent/Patent
    Provisional Application and
    Number Filing Date Title Filing Date
    PP0895 12-Dec-97 An Image Creation 6,231,148
    Method and Apparatus (Jul. 10, 1998)
    (IR01)
    PP0870 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 09/113,106
    (IR02) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0869 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 6,293,658
    (IR04) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0887 12-Dec-97 Image Creation Method 09/113,104
    and Apparatus (IR05) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0885 12-Dec-97 An Image Production 6,238,033
    System (IR06) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0884 12-Dec-97 Image Creation Method 6,312,070
    and Apparatus (IR10) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0886 12-Dec-97 Image Creation Method 6,238,111
    and Apparatus (IR12) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0871 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 09/113,086
    (IR13) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0876 12-Dec-97 An Image Processing 09/113,094
    Method and Apparatus (Jul. 10, 1998)
    (IR14)
    PP0877 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 6,378,970
    (IR16) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP0878 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 6,196,739
    (IR17) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0879 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 09/112,774
    (IR18) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0883 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 6,270,182
    (IR19) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0880 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 6,152,619
    (IR20) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0881 12-Dec-97 A Device and Method 09/113,092
    (IR21) (Jul. 10, 1998)

    DotCard Technologies
  • [0179]
    Further, the present application may include the utilization of a data distribution system such as that described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.
    Australian US Patent/Patent
    Provision- Filing Application and
    al Number Date Title Filing Date
    PP2370 16 Mar. 1998 Data Processing Method 09/112,781
    and Apparatus (Dot01) (Jul. 10, 1998
    PP2371 16 Mar. 1998 Data Processing Method 09/113,052
    and Apparatus (Dot02) (Jul. 10, 1998

    Artcam Technologies
  • [0180]
    Further, the present application may include the utilization of camera and data processing techniques such as an Artcam type device as described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.
    Australian
    Provisional Filing US Patent/Patent
    Number Date Title Application and Filing Date
    PO7991 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/113,060
    and Apparatus (ART01) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7988 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 6,476,863
    and Apparatus (ART02) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7993 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/113,073
    and Apparatus (ART03) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9395 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,322,181
    and Apparatus (ART04) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8017 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,747
    and Apparatus (ART06) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8014 15 Jul. 1997 Media Device (ART07) 6,227,648
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8025 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,750
    and Apparatus (ART08) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8032 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,746
    and Apparatus (ART09) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7999 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,743
    and Apparatus (ART10) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7998 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,742
    and Apparatus (ART11) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8031 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,741
    and Apparatus (ART12) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8030 15 Jul. 1997 Media Device (ART13) 6,196,541
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7997 15 Jul. 1997 Media Device (ART15) 6,195,150
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7979 15 Jul. 1997 Media Device (ART16) 6,362,868
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8015 15 Jul. 1997 Media Device (ART17) 09/112,738
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7978 15 Jul. 1997 Media Device (ART18) 09/113,067
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7982 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,431,669
    and Apparatus (ART19) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7989 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,362,869
    and Apparatus (ART20) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8019 15 Jul. 1997 Media Processing Method 6,472,052
    and Apparatus (ART21) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7980 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 6,356,715
    and Apparatus (ART22) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8018 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,777
    and Apparatus (ART24) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7938 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/113,224
    and Apparatus (ART25) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8016 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 6,366,693
    and Apparatus (ART26) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8024 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 6,329,990
    and Apparatus (ART27) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7940 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/113,072
    and Apparatus (ART28) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7939 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/112,785
    and Apparatus (ART29) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8501 11 Aug. 1997 Image Processing Method 6,137,500
    and Apparatus (ART30) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8500 11 Aug. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,796
    and Apparatus (ART31) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7987 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/113,071
    and Apparatus (ART32) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8022 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 6,398,328
    and Apparatus (ART33) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8497 11 Aug. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/113,090
    and Apparatus (ART34) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8020 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,431,704
    and Apparatus (ART38) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8023 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/113,222
    and Apparatus (ART39) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8504 11 Aug. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,786
    and Apparatus (ART42) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8000 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,415,054
    and Apparatus (ART43) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7977 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/112,782
    and Apparatus (ART44) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7934 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/113,056
    and Apparatus (ART45) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7990 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/113,059
    and Apparatus (ART46) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8499 11 Aug. 1997 Image Processing Method 6,486,886
    and Apparatus (ART47) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8502 11 Aug. 1997 Image Processing Method 6,381,361
    and Apparatus (ART48) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7981 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,317,192
    and Apparatus (ART50) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7986 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/113,057
    and Apparatus (ART51) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO7983 15 Jul. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/113,054
    and Apparatus (ART52) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8026 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,752
    and Apparatus (ART53) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8027 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,759
    and Apparatus (ART54) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO8028 15 Jul. 1997 Image Processing Method 09/112,757
    and Apparatus (ART56) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9394 23 Sep. 1997 Image Processing Method 6,357,135
    and Apparatus (ART57) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9396 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/113,107
    and Apparatus (ART58) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9397 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,271,931
    and Apparatus (ART59) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9398 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,353,772
    and Apparatus (ART60) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9399 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,106,147
    and Apparatus (ART61) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9400 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/112,790
    and Apparatus (ART62) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9401 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,304,291
    and Apparatus (ART63) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9402 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 09/112,788
    and Apparatus (ART64) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9403 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,305,770
    and Apparatus (ART65) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PO9405 23 Sep. 1997 Data Processing Method 6,289,262
    and Apparatus (ART66) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP0959 16 Dec. 1997 A Data Processing Method 6,315,200
    and Apparatus (ART68) (Jul. 10, 1998)
    PP1397 19 Jan. 1998 A Media Device (ART69) 6,217,165
    (Jul. 10, 1998)
Patentzitate
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Klassifizierungen
US-Klassifikation348/207.99, 348/E05.091, 348/E09.01
Internationale KlassifikationG06F12/08, B41J11/70, B41J2/16, B41J3/44, B42D15/10, G06K1/12, B41J2/14, B41J15/04, G06K19/06, G06K7/10, G07F7/08, H05K1/14, G06F1/16, B41J11/00, G11C11/56, G11C16/22, G11B7/0033, B41J3/42, B41J2/165, H04L9/00, G06K19/00, H04N5/262, G06T1/20, G06K19/073, G07F7/12, B41J2/175, G11B5/127, H04N1/21, H04N1/00, G06K7/14, H05K1/18, H04N1/32, G11B7/007, G06F21/86, G06F21/79, H04N5/225
UnternehmensklassifikationB41J29/13, G03B17/48, G06K7/10, B41J3/00, H04L9/32, G03B17/24, G11C16/22, B41J2/01, H04N5/225, G06K19/06, B42D2035/08, B42D2035/50, B42D2035/34, H04N1/2112, B42D25/00, Y10S977/839, Y10S977/843, Y10S977/901, Y10S977/94, Y02B60/1225, H04N2201/0084, G06T3/0006, G03B27/02, H05K1/189, H04N1/2307, H04N1/00968, G06T1/20, G06K7/1417, G06Q20/382, G06F2221/2129, G03B17/02, G11C11/56, G07F7/08, G06K7/14, B41J2/1632, B41J2202/21, H04N2201/3269, B41J2/1643, H04N1/00278, B41J2/1637, B41J2/16585, B41J29/02, B41J2/14, H04N2201/3264, G06Q20/3829, H04N1/00127, B41J2/1629, H04N2201/0008, H04N1/00355, H04N2201/3276, G06F2212/2022, B41J2/1639, B41J2/17596, G11B7/007, B41J2/1648, B82Y30/00, H04N1/0044, G06F12/0866, G06Q20/3674, G06K1/121, H05K1/14, B41J15/044, B41J2/1628, H04N2201/3222, B41J2/1626, B41J2/14427, H04N9/045, G07F7/12, G06K19/073, G06K19/06037, B41J2/1631, H04N1/00326, B41J2/1635, B41J2/1601, B41J2/1646, G06K7/10722, G06F1/1626, B41J2/16, B41J2002/041, G09G2310/0281, H04N2101/00, H04N2201/3242, B41J2/1623, H04N1/32133, G07F7/086, G06F21/86, B41J2/14314, H04N5/335, H04N2201/3261, H04N1/00965, H04N2201/328, B41J2/1645, H04N5/2628, B41J2002/14491, B41J2/1642, G11B7/0033, B41J2/17513, B41J2/17503, G06F21/79, H04N1/2154, H01L23/576, H04N1/32122, H01L2924/0002
Europäische KlassifikationG06Q20/3674, H04N1/23B, H04N1/00W2, G03B17/02, B41J2/16M4, H04N1/00C6, G06K7/10S4D, H04N1/00C22, B41J3/44B, B41J2/16M3D, G07F7/08B, G06Q20/3829, H04N1/32C17B, G06K19/06C3, G06Q20/382, B41J2/16M7S, B41J2/175P, B41J2/16M6, G11B7/0033, G06K7/14A2C, B41J2/16M8P, G11C11/56, G06K19/073, B82Y30/00, G03B27/02, B41J11/70, H04N1/00D3D4, B41J15/04C, G06T1/20, G11C16/22, B41J2/14E, B41J29/02, G06F1/16P3, G06F12/08B12, G06T3/00A, H04N1/00W1, H04N1/21B3H, B41J2/16M8C, B41J11/00A, B41J2/175C, B41J2/16S, B41J2/16M3W, H04N5/262T, B42D15/10, B41J2/16M3, B41J2/16B, H04N1/32C15D, B41J2/16, H01L23/57B, G06F21/79, B41J2/16M5, G11B7/007, B41J2/16M8S, G07F7/12, H04N5/225, B41J2/16M8T, B41J2/16M1, H04N1/21B3, B41J2/175C2, B41J2/16M7, B41J2/14S, B41J15/04, H04N1/00D2B, G06K7/14, G06K1/12B, G06F21/86, B41J2/14, G07F7/08, H04N5/335, H04N9/04B
Juristische Ereignisse
DatumCodeEreignisBeschreibung
15. Febr. 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: SILVERBROOK RESEARCH PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SILVERBROOK, KIA;REEL/FRAME:018895/0835
Effective date: 20070207