EFI Fiery RIP, Postscript hardware Raster Image Processors (RIP) for large format inkjet printers.

By 2001 EFI has fallen far behind in the RIP competition. Previously EFI was market leader in hardware PostScript RIP servers for Hewlett-Packard DesignJet, Epson, Canon, and Encad wide format printers but then people learned of its weak points. Actually over 200,000 people have been exposed to FLAAR's experiences with our two EFI Fiery RIPs.

What are the options if you have one of the fabulous new 6-color large format printers by Roland or wide format printers by Colorspan? If you need more options that provided by the restricted EFI Fiery RIP, consider software RIP or hardware PostScript RIP servers other than the EFI Fiery RIP, such as by Agfa, AHT, Colorbus, Colorspan, EIS, Fuji, Image Technologies Developments, Splash, Tangent, Torque, UFO, and YARC. Most of those RIPs also faded from the scene in the last two years. Yarc went bankrupt.

Thus we recommend that you chose a RIP from a company that has its whole heart and soul into making RIPs (this leaves out 3M Cactus). Instead, chose a solid company such as BEST Color, PosterJet, Wasatch, Colorgate, and the other leaders. These companies will be here tomorrow to provide you with updates.

Efi Fiery RipWhen you are deciding what wide format printer to buy, in addition to checking out tests of wide format printer quality and speeds you also need to learn a bit about what RIP you will use. For example, I use an EFI Fiery RIP on an Encad wide format color printer and get acceptably quick prints but that was in 1997. I also have an EFI Fiery RIP on the Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 2800 CP in my office in Germany. But that was two years ago.

At the end of 2001, people expect more from their RIP. That is why RIPs such as PosterJet and others have increased in popularity.

The HP DesignJet 2500 and 3500 CP come with an internal RIP. This is more economical than an external RIP. But it is much much faster to have an external RIP from a company that dedicates itself to making wide format printers work more effectively. Hewlett-Packard does a good job of making solid equipment; they provide service worldwide. But a RIP company makes better RIPs because that's all they do, all day long, all year long.

For software RIP solutions check out the appropriate page for software RIP.

Hardware PostScript RIP to software PostScript RIP solutions is a continuium. EFI is entirely hardware based, yet many of the other fine RIP products are software that ends up in a PC as a print server. In this sense most RIPs are "hardware" if the computer is a dedicated printer server. It is generally considered faster to send Mac files to a Windows NT dedicated printer server and then to the wide format printer (than attempting to print directly from a Mac).

Below is a list of hardware RIPs made in 1999 and updated in November 2001. As of today only one or two companies still make hardware RIPs. The only hardware RIP we recommend is that made for the ColorSpan. We have this RIP ourselves and are very content with it.

List and links for hardware raster image processor servers (PostScript RIP)

for wide format inkjet printers

Agfa dedicated RIP server for its own AgfaJet large format printers
AHT, Advanced Hi-Tech Corp. ColorFlare, OneRip, also RIPs many color copiers such as Konica, Minilta, Mita, Toshiba, and Xerox
Colorbus Cyclone, for Encad, HP, Mimaki, Xerox wide-format printers, and copiers. This RIP company has not kept up in the last two years.
no longer recommended
ColorSpan ColorMark, RIPStation, ColorSpan large format printers. This is the best hardware RIP we have ever seen. We have this ColorSpan RIP installed at our university. Powerful, easy to use.
EFI, Electronics for Imaging Fiery RIPs for Encad, Hewlett-Packard, Canon,and Epson wide format as well as for many color copiers. However, be sure to read review before you buy a hardware RIP !
EIS, Electronic Imaging Systems RIPs for scanners and imagesetters
Fujifilm Electronic Imaging Ltd CelebraNT (sic), for Fuji printers and HP including 2500. I have not seen this RIP in any other list of RIPs
Imaging Technologies Corp. Xtinguisher 247 hardware RIP server; only up to 400 dpi
Image Technologies Developments supports many wide format printers; this company also makes software RIP.
PerfectProof ProofMaster, goes beyond Aurelon (an excellent RIP from The Netherlands)
PosterJet PosterJet is fast, easy to set-up and use, user-friendly, works on Mac and also on PC
PS Group (PhotoScript Group) PhotoScript RIP 3000, 3500, Agfa FotoTune Color Management, ICC profiles
Scitex (CreoScitex) Idanit-1000ST high speed RIP workstation for Scitex Idanit-162Ad wide format digital color press (hence a bit outside the scope of this web site but we list it nonetheless since people fall into this page while searching for RIPs on the search engines).
Splash Technology for a variety of Xerox copiers and Xerox ColorgrafX wide format printers. This company was bought by EFI. Splash itself is defunct.
Storm Technology uses OEM RIP with Harlequin capability (Storm filed for bankruptcy in the USA).
Tangent Imaging Systems Reproworks, PC, Encad, HP, RasterGraphics wide format printers
Torque Systems Rip Server, Silicon Graphics, this is a server for data, not PostScript
UFO ColorFlare, see AHT
VisualEdge Technology dual 555MHz Pentium III processors, 9 GB hard drive, 768 MB RAM and more means that this hardware RIP is much more powerful than the enemic EFI Fiery RIPs that we have. Sold under the K+E brand
YARC Systems Corp. PC only, Encad, Epson 9000, HP, Mimaki, Roland large format color printers. This company went bankrupt.
no longer around

I may have missed one or two and would welcome information that I overlooked, e-mail Nicholas Hellmuth at contact. e-mail us if you would like to provide information from our own experiences. Be sure to check out the separate listings for software PostScript color RIPs for wide format inkjet printers. In most respects a software PostScript RIP is a better investment.

What does FLAAR use itself? We have PosterJet for speed; BEST Color for proofing; ColorSpan's hardware RIP for our ColorSpan Displaymaker XII; Wasatch, ColorGate and other RIPs as evaluation copies. All of our experiences are gathered together in the FLAAR report on RIPs.


Most recently updated November 30, 2001.