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.
When 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
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.