Hewlett-Packard has unveiled a new ink-based printhead technology that the company believes will help speed up the output of files for graphic designers.

Dubbed Edgeline and announced at HP's Enterprise Imaging and Printing Press and Analyst Conference, the technology features two adjacent four-inch wide printheads to distribute ink across the breadth of a page in one pass.

Each printhead is made up of five smaller interlacing printheads. The printhead remains in a fixed position which allows the paper to move quickly through the print device. This enables print jobs to be completed at greater speeds than printers that use conventional technology where printheads must move to distribute ink.

The Edgeline technology marks a major shift in printing architecture, claimed HP executive vice-president of the Imaging and Printing Group, Vyomesh Joshi. "This technology doesn't just print pages out, it screams them out." He said printers using Edgeline technology would be targeted at a range of industries ranging from graphic design to retail photo finishing, representing a market estimated to be worth $30 billion dollars by 2009.

General release of the technology for specialized business print units is expected in November 2007.

(Mitchell Bingemann was a guest of the HP at its Enterprise Imaging and Printing Press and Analyst Conference.)