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RIPping through data
                     Challenges faced in the digital front end




Martin Bailey
CTO, Global Graphics


1   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
– This presentation was created with
  assistance from our partners at
  Hewlett Packard.
– Especial thanks are due to Dave Staas,
  Lead Software Architect,
  Indigo Digital Press DFE




2   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
INTRODUCTION
– A Controller or Digital Front End (DFE) provides a number of functions
  for digital press print jobs:
    •   Workflow definition, control, and management
    •   Job management (submission, status, view, edit, cancel, etc.)
    •   Color, ink, and media management
    •   Imposition and finishing management and control
    •   The conversion of rich document formats like PDF and PPML into “print ready bits” –
        data that is rendered and formatted for the marking engine of the digital press




                                                     HP Indigo W7200 Digital Press

3
CONSTRUCTING A DFE


                                                        Control process



                                                         RIP

                        Pre-                                         Post-       Press
                     processing                          RIP      processing   controller




                            Job
                           cache
                                                         RIP        Raster
                                                                    cache
                                                                                            HP Indigo 7500
                                                                                             Digital Press




4   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
WORK ALLOCATION
                                                                                  – Interpreting/rendering – 
                                                                                  – Color management – 
                           Control process
                                                                                  – Imposition – ,  or 

                                                                                 – Trapping –  or 
                                 RIP                                              – Screening –  or 
                                                         
                                                           Post-
                                                                       
                                                                       Press      – Font handling – 
        Pre-
     processing                  RIP                    processing   controller

                                                                                  – Variable data –
         Job
                                                        Raster
        cache                    RIP                     cache                    –   + for PPML etc
                                                                                       for PDF with no h/w assist
                                                                                      + for PDF with h/w
                                                                                      (+) or (++) for PDF/VT


5   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
– A typical print shop can have many digital presses and DFEs (Consolidated
  Graphics, for example, has more than 50 Indigo digital presses across several sites1)
– A standard mid-range digital press (120 PPM) requires the processing of over
  one hundred million pixels every second, worst-case, with possibly multiple transforms,
  and in 4 (or more) colors
– HP’s high-end presses (like the T400 below) require around three billion pixels every
  second
– The primary performance goal for a DFE is to process any job or workflow at or above
  press speed – strive to always have the DFE outpace the press over a shift
– Maximum efficiency must be exploited in every aspect of the system’s design in order
  to achieve this goal within reasonable cost constraints




    HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press                  HP T400 Color Inkjet Web Press
6
THOSE CALCULATIONS …
Example 1: cut-sheet, 800x800dpi, four color (CMYK), 8 bits per pixel
per colorant, 120ppm (A4), single-sided
  • 800 x 800 = 640,000 pixels per square inch

    •   640,000 x 11.69 x 8.27 = 61,872,832             pixels per A4 page
    •   61,872,832 x 120 / 60 = 123,745,664             pixels per second
    •   123,745,664 x 4 x 8 / 8 = 494,982,656            bytes per second
    •    = 472 MB/s

Example 2: roll-fed, 600x600dpi, four color (CMYK), 8 bits per pixel
per colorant, 41.75” printable width, 600 ft per minute, two-sided
  • 600 x 600 = 360,000 pixels per square inch

    •   360,000 x 41.75 x 600 x 12 = 108,216,000,000            pixels per minute, per side
    •   108,216,000,000 / 60 x 2 = 3,607,200,000            pixels per second, duplexed
    •   3,607,200,000 x 4 x 8 / 8 = 14,428,800,000           bytes per second
    •   = 13.4 GB/s
7   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
SPEED VS DUTY CYCLE
– Speed: pages per minute (usually A4 or US letter
  equivalent)
    • Definesmax throughput while the press is running
    • Important for office print and light production

– “Duty cycle” has different meanings for different sectors:
  • Office and light production:
       − Simplistic calculation of how many pages a printer could produce in a
         month running flat-out for 1 shift per day
       − Not representative of any realistic throughput
    • High-volume                                production
       − The vendor’s assessment of a realistically achievable page volume per
         month for that press
       − The number of pages a print company expects to be able to produce every
         month from their press

8   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
IN LIGHT PRODUCTION …
– the monthly duty cycle of a given product is not the “recommended”
  volume at which it should be used on a consistent basis.
       − Paul Albano, Canon USA

– Most vendors of document imaging devices specify a “monthly duty
  cycle” for their products […]. This number represents the maximum
  number of pages a product can produce in a month. It is not the
  volume at which the product should be used on a regular basis. […] In
  the real world, products are being used for much lower volumes,
  ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent of the duty cycle in the case of
  monochrome products.
       − Buyers’ Lab




– This is not true for high-volume production. Print service providers
  expect to achieve the duty cycle every month to ensure that they can
  meet planned return on investment.

9   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
SPEED & DUTY CYCLE
                       7



                       6
                                                                                                                • Speed plotted against
                                                                                                                  duty cycle for a number
                       5
                                                                                                                  of high-volume digital
Duty cycle (Mpp/mon)




                                                                                                                  presses.
                       4
                                                                                           Duty cycle (Mpp/m)
                                                                                           8/5
                                                                                                                • Diagonal lines show
                       3
                                                                                           16/6                   the page volume
                                                                                           24/7                   achievable in 1, 2 or 3
                       2                                                                                          shifts at that rated
                                                                                                                  speed.
                       1



                       0
                            60                  80                  100        120   140
                                                             Speed (ppm)


      10                   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
HOURS PER DAY TO REACH DUTY CYCLE
                                                     20                                                                                         • The same data, now
                                                                                                                                                  showing hours per day
                                                     18
                                                                                                                                                  required to achieve duty
Hours per day required to achieve rated duty cycle




                                                                                                                                                  cycle (7 day week).
                                                     16


                                                     14
                                                                                                                                                • High numbers imply an
                                                                                                                                                  expectation that the
                                                     12                                                                                           press can run at rated
                                                                                                                                                  engine speed for most
                                                     10                                                                                           of every shift.

                                                      8                                                                                         • Planned maintenance is
                                                                                                                                                  not taken into account.
                                                      6

                                                                                                                                                • This duty cycle range
                                                      4
                                                                                                                                                  selected to illustrate
                                                      2
                                                                                                                                                  cross-over from light-
                                                                                                                                                  production to high-
                                                      0                                                                                           volume production
                                                          60           70            80             90        100       110   120   130   140     expectations
                                                                                                          Speed (ppm)


                     11                               © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
–Print service providers in high-volume digital
 production print expect to achieve duty
 cycle every month
–This requires that the press run at rated
 engine speed almost 100% of the time,
 regardless of job content or complexity
     • Except              for planned maintenance periods




12   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
IT’S A SOLVED PROBLEM, ISN’T IT?
All this talk of hugely high performance requirements … do I
 still have to worry?
It’s solved for current jobs and current presses, but:
– New presses need higher data rates
     • Larger           format/wider webs
     • Higher           paper speeds/pages per minute
     • Higher           resolution (2x resolution = 4x raster size)
     • More          colorants (MICR, photoink, HiFi, spot colors etc)
     • Multi-bit           screening

• And …



13   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
JOBS ARE GETTING MORE COMPLEX
– Larger coverage of variable data in direct marketing, triggered by
     •   Better demographic data
     •   Better data mining techniques
     •   Proven better response rates to well-crafted personalized mail

– More use of live transparency
     •   Driving adoption of PDF for direct marketing
     •   Expanding out of general design practice for books, publication, POD, print-for-pay and
         general commercial print
     •   Many designers don’t even know they’re using transparency!

– In a well-optimized RIP transparency requires more processing than
  an opaque job
     •   Color transforms & read/modify/write cycles




14   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
THIS IS TRANSPARENCY …




15   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
AND THIS …




16   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
AND THIS




17   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
DOESN’T PDF/VT FIX THE PROBLEM?
– PDF/VT (ISO 16612-2) defines structures in a PDF file to:
     •   Allow easier identification of re-used and single-use graphical elements
     •   Define which sets of pages go together in a hierarchical structure
         − E.g. as components that will be supplied to a single direct mail recipient

     •   Enable pseudo-streaming

• Encourages good practice through PDF/X
     •   All fonts embedded
     •   All colors formally defined etc

– This means that PDF/VT is a useful standard!


– But it does not address the fundamental issues of:
     •   Compute power required to process transparency
     •   Sheer data volume required to drive current and future digital production presses


18   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
THE REAL GOAL
– With the right architecture and components you can make a DFE drive
  your press at engine speed


– The key metric is the throughput achievable per € total bill of materials
     •   Include hardware and software
     •   Every component makes a difference

– The target is to drive the press at rated speed while minimizing the
  cost of the DFE
     •   If the software is faster or more efficient you can reduce the hardware required

– Reducing hardware reduces power consumption and cooling
     •   Going green can be profitable!




19   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
ARCHITECTURAL CONSIDERATIONS
– Some of the more relevant architectural considerations for enabling
  maximum efficiency:
     •   Reliability
         − Fast, unreliable systems usually aren’t worth much. Stability first, performance second
     •   Work Avoidance
         − Look for ways to move or eliminate work first rather than scaling an inefficiency
     •   Centralized or Distributed Caching
         − Caching can avoid work and improve performance
         − Watch for centralized caches becoming a bottleneck
     •   Instrumentation and Measurement
         − Establish a way to measure performance in your code and system
     •   Planning
         − An ounce of design effort up-front will save more than a pound in efficiency and cost-savings in development and
           manufacturing
         − If you drive a range of devices you may gain from a common, scalable solution across at least some of that
           range

– No universal right answer on most of these considerations; they’re
  useful topics to think about in the context of efficiency

20
PARALLELISM – WITHIN A MACHINE
             We invest effort to take advantage of all of
             these machine-level parallelisms:



             – Multiple CPUs per machine
             – Multiple cores per CPU
             – Multiple physical disks per machine
             – Multiple physical disks per logical disk
             – Multiple (teamed/bonded) network
               interfaces per logical network connection
             – Multiple RIPs per machine
             – Multiple threads per RIP


21
PARALLELISM – END-TO-END SOLUTION




           Split into page ranges    RIPs deliver data in parallel   Press controllers
            and assign to RIPs           to press controllers        deliver to presses


     Split files into multiple “partitions” or chunks and process in parallel
          Parallelize early, maintain multiple parallel pipelines
          Parallelize in pre-RIP, where the data is much smaller (1/7th the size)
     Process multiple jobs in parallel
     Different variations optimize first-page-out, engine loading or throughput
22
SUMMARY
– Digital printing architectures need careful design
– Many different strategies must be employed in unison for the best
  effect
– Key architectural considerations can help guide your efforts
– Selection of the best components and supplier/partners is an important
  aspect
– The ultimate goal is to reduce cost, power, and cooling for customers




23   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
Q&A

                           More information at www.globalgraphics.com/imiconf




24   © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited

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RIPping through data - Challenges faced in the digital front end

  • 1. RIPping through data Challenges faced in the digital front end Martin Bailey CTO, Global Graphics 1 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS – This presentation was created with assistance from our partners at Hewlett Packard. – Especial thanks are due to Dave Staas, Lead Software Architect, Indigo Digital Press DFE 2 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 3. INTRODUCTION – A Controller or Digital Front End (DFE) provides a number of functions for digital press print jobs: • Workflow definition, control, and management • Job management (submission, status, view, edit, cancel, etc.) • Color, ink, and media management • Imposition and finishing management and control • The conversion of rich document formats like PDF and PPML into “print ready bits” – data that is rendered and formatted for the marking engine of the digital press HP Indigo W7200 Digital Press 3
  • 4. CONSTRUCTING A DFE Control process RIP Pre- Post- Press processing RIP processing controller Job cache RIP Raster cache HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press 4 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 5. WORK ALLOCATION – Interpreting/rendering –  – Color management –  Control process – Imposition – ,  or   – Trapping –  or  RIP – Screening –  or     Post-  Press – Font handling –  Pre- processing RIP processing controller – Variable data – Job  Raster cache RIP cache – + for PPML etc  for PDF with no h/w assist + for PDF with h/w (+) or (++) for PDF/VT 5 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 6. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? – A typical print shop can have many digital presses and DFEs (Consolidated Graphics, for example, has more than 50 Indigo digital presses across several sites1) – A standard mid-range digital press (120 PPM) requires the processing of over one hundred million pixels every second, worst-case, with possibly multiple transforms, and in 4 (or more) colors – HP’s high-end presses (like the T400 below) require around three billion pixels every second – The primary performance goal for a DFE is to process any job or workflow at or above press speed – strive to always have the DFE outpace the press over a shift – Maximum efficiency must be exploited in every aspect of the system’s design in order to achieve this goal within reasonable cost constraints HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press HP T400 Color Inkjet Web Press 6
  • 7. THOSE CALCULATIONS … Example 1: cut-sheet, 800x800dpi, four color (CMYK), 8 bits per pixel per colorant, 120ppm (A4), single-sided • 800 x 800 = 640,000 pixels per square inch • 640,000 x 11.69 x 8.27 = 61,872,832 pixels per A4 page • 61,872,832 x 120 / 60 = 123,745,664 pixels per second • 123,745,664 x 4 x 8 / 8 = 494,982,656 bytes per second • = 472 MB/s Example 2: roll-fed, 600x600dpi, four color (CMYK), 8 bits per pixel per colorant, 41.75” printable width, 600 ft per minute, two-sided • 600 x 600 = 360,000 pixels per square inch • 360,000 x 41.75 x 600 x 12 = 108,216,000,000 pixels per minute, per side • 108,216,000,000 / 60 x 2 = 3,607,200,000 pixels per second, duplexed • 3,607,200,000 x 4 x 8 / 8 = 14,428,800,000 bytes per second • = 13.4 GB/s 7 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 8. SPEED VS DUTY CYCLE – Speed: pages per minute (usually A4 or US letter equivalent) • Definesmax throughput while the press is running • Important for office print and light production – “Duty cycle” has different meanings for different sectors: • Office and light production: − Simplistic calculation of how many pages a printer could produce in a month running flat-out for 1 shift per day − Not representative of any realistic throughput • High-volume production − The vendor’s assessment of a realistically achievable page volume per month for that press − The number of pages a print company expects to be able to produce every month from their press 8 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 9. IN LIGHT PRODUCTION … – the monthly duty cycle of a given product is not the “recommended” volume at which it should be used on a consistent basis. − Paul Albano, Canon USA – Most vendors of document imaging devices specify a “monthly duty cycle” for their products […]. This number represents the maximum number of pages a product can produce in a month. It is not the volume at which the product should be used on a regular basis. […] In the real world, products are being used for much lower volumes, ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent of the duty cycle in the case of monochrome products. − Buyers’ Lab – This is not true for high-volume production. Print service providers expect to achieve the duty cycle every month to ensure that they can meet planned return on investment. 9 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 10. SPEED & DUTY CYCLE 7 6 • Speed plotted against duty cycle for a number 5 of high-volume digital Duty cycle (Mpp/mon) presses. 4 Duty cycle (Mpp/m) 8/5 • Diagonal lines show 3 16/6 the page volume 24/7 achievable in 1, 2 or 3 2 shifts at that rated speed. 1 0 60 80 100 120 140 Speed (ppm) 10 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 11. HOURS PER DAY TO REACH DUTY CYCLE 20 • The same data, now showing hours per day 18 required to achieve duty Hours per day required to achieve rated duty cycle cycle (7 day week). 16 14 • High numbers imply an expectation that the 12 press can run at rated engine speed for most 10 of every shift. 8 • Planned maintenance is not taken into account. 6 • This duty cycle range 4 selected to illustrate 2 cross-over from light- production to high- 0 volume production 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 expectations Speed (ppm) 11 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 12. –Print service providers in high-volume digital production print expect to achieve duty cycle every month –This requires that the press run at rated engine speed almost 100% of the time, regardless of job content or complexity • Except for planned maintenance periods 12 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 13. IT’S A SOLVED PROBLEM, ISN’T IT? All this talk of hugely high performance requirements … do I still have to worry? It’s solved for current jobs and current presses, but: – New presses need higher data rates • Larger format/wider webs • Higher paper speeds/pages per minute • Higher resolution (2x resolution = 4x raster size) • More colorants (MICR, photoink, HiFi, spot colors etc) • Multi-bit screening • And … 13 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 14. JOBS ARE GETTING MORE COMPLEX – Larger coverage of variable data in direct marketing, triggered by • Better demographic data • Better data mining techniques • Proven better response rates to well-crafted personalized mail – More use of live transparency • Driving adoption of PDF for direct marketing • Expanding out of general design practice for books, publication, POD, print-for-pay and general commercial print • Many designers don’t even know they’re using transparency! – In a well-optimized RIP transparency requires more processing than an opaque job • Color transforms & read/modify/write cycles 14 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 15. THIS IS TRANSPARENCY … 15 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 16. AND THIS … 16 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 17. AND THIS 17 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 18. DOESN’T PDF/VT FIX THE PROBLEM? – PDF/VT (ISO 16612-2) defines structures in a PDF file to: • Allow easier identification of re-used and single-use graphical elements • Define which sets of pages go together in a hierarchical structure − E.g. as components that will be supplied to a single direct mail recipient • Enable pseudo-streaming • Encourages good practice through PDF/X • All fonts embedded • All colors formally defined etc – This means that PDF/VT is a useful standard! – But it does not address the fundamental issues of: • Compute power required to process transparency • Sheer data volume required to drive current and future digital production presses 18 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 19. THE REAL GOAL – With the right architecture and components you can make a DFE drive your press at engine speed – The key metric is the throughput achievable per € total bill of materials • Include hardware and software • Every component makes a difference – The target is to drive the press at rated speed while minimizing the cost of the DFE • If the software is faster or more efficient you can reduce the hardware required – Reducing hardware reduces power consumption and cooling • Going green can be profitable! 19 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 20. ARCHITECTURAL CONSIDERATIONS – Some of the more relevant architectural considerations for enabling maximum efficiency: • Reliability − Fast, unreliable systems usually aren’t worth much. Stability first, performance second • Work Avoidance − Look for ways to move or eliminate work first rather than scaling an inefficiency • Centralized or Distributed Caching − Caching can avoid work and improve performance − Watch for centralized caches becoming a bottleneck • Instrumentation and Measurement − Establish a way to measure performance in your code and system • Planning − An ounce of design effort up-front will save more than a pound in efficiency and cost-savings in development and manufacturing − If you drive a range of devices you may gain from a common, scalable solution across at least some of that range – No universal right answer on most of these considerations; they’re useful topics to think about in the context of efficiency 20
  • 21. PARALLELISM – WITHIN A MACHINE We invest effort to take advantage of all of these machine-level parallelisms: – Multiple CPUs per machine – Multiple cores per CPU – Multiple physical disks per machine – Multiple physical disks per logical disk – Multiple (teamed/bonded) network interfaces per logical network connection – Multiple RIPs per machine – Multiple threads per RIP 21
  • 22. PARALLELISM – END-TO-END SOLUTION Split into page ranges RIPs deliver data in parallel Press controllers and assign to RIPs to press controllers deliver to presses Split files into multiple “partitions” or chunks and process in parallel Parallelize early, maintain multiple parallel pipelines Parallelize in pre-RIP, where the data is much smaller (1/7th the size) Process multiple jobs in parallel Different variations optimize first-page-out, engine loading or throughput 22
  • 23. SUMMARY – Digital printing architectures need careful design – Many different strategies must be employed in unison for the best effect – Key architectural considerations can help guide your efforts – Selection of the best components and supplier/partners is an important aspect – The ultimate goal is to reduce cost, power, and cooling for customers 23 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited
  • 24. Q&A More information at www.globalgraphics.com/imiconf 24 © Copyright 2011 Global Graphics Software Limited