R.D. Hersch, P. Desmartines, D.G. Fridman, J.-M. Aberle, P. Pisan, A. Decurnex and R. Rogner
IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, Vol. 12, No. 4, July 1992, 79-87
To generate images on color and black-and-white printers and plotters, we rely on raster imaging techniques. Most raster imaging systems use RISC-based rasterization processors to generate pages efficiently. Systems incorporating these processors are primarily designed to generate pages on middle resolution devices (300 to 600 dpi). Even though you can also use such systems for high-resolution photocomposers, they might slow down the imaging process considerably. Current drum-based, high-resolution laser plotters rotating at 16,000 revolutions per minute can expose a film made up of 64,000 scan lines in four minutes, but single-processor systems sometines require more than a quarter of an hour to generate complex images.
Multiprocessor systems can increase rasterization speeds. But because interconnecting conventional microprocessors is expensive, most raster image processor (RIPs) contain at most two processors that contribute to rasterizing geometric shapes. Recently, however, researchers designed several microprocessors specifically for multiprocessing. The transputer was the first commercially available 32-bits processor with communication links for multiprocessing. Other manufacturers are now marketing new processors with similar communication links.
Download the full paper: PDF 912 KB