Silverbrook’s technology (which will be commercialized under the business name Memjet) was supposed to be released in early 2008, according to what company executives told me then. Now, a company spokeswoman says that the “A4/letter printhead and related components” will be shipped to OEMs by the end of this year, with products slated for sometime in 2009. This is consistent with “early timetables,” according to the spokeswoman.
Memjet isn’t going to manufacture the printers themselves. Instead, they’re going to sell the components to OEMs, who can put their own stamp on the technology.
Delays associated with new technology are nothing new. Still, in 2007, Memjet officials promised: a photo printer, which the company hoped to sell for less than $150 by the end of the year or early 2008; the 8.5-inch x 11-inch (A4) color inkjet, due to arrive at the end of 2008 for under $200; a label printer; and a large-format photo printer, expected to cost about $5,000, and capable of printing poster-sized prints at rapid speed.
The Memjet technology uses a series of individual MEMS-based inkjet nozzles, fabricated using conventional semiconductor manufacturing techniques. Each chip measures 20 millimeters across and contains 6,400 nozzles, with five color channels, the company said. A separate driver chip calculates 900 million picoliter-sized drops per second. For a standard A4 letter printer, the result is a total of 70,400 nozzles.