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-- by James E. Powell
Adobe Systems wants to give SOHO users the power it already puts in network printers-but for less money. Supporting workgroup printers at up to 12 pages per minute, the new version of the company's PrintGear technology combines host-based printing software and custom printer hardware. And it should carry a price tag of less than $1,000-a good $200 less than existing products.
The 60MHz PrintGear Imaging Processor resides in a laser printer controller, performing on-the-fly rendering of pages generated by PrintGear drivers on your PC. Hardware-assisted rendering minimizes processing by the printer, helping laser printers achieve faster speeds. Because imaging tasks are shared between the Imaging Processor and your CPU, PrintGear-equipped printers can reduce network traffic. At 12ppm speeds, such printers are better able to reduce the length of time jobs wait in the output queue-the current crop of 12ppm network printers often operate at 4ppm in real-world environments.