LED, or light-emitting diode, is a type of semiconductor element that gives off light.
LEDs are currently used in a wide variety of applications, from large-sized displays and traffic signals to seasonal decorative lighting, car headlights, and interior and exterior lighting. OKI DATA has been the constant frontrunner in LED technology development, based on its long track record in developing world-first LED print heads for printers.
LED printers are characterized by offering high-speed, high image quality printing in a simple structure not possible with laser printers.
Laser printers have a single laser beam as a light source that is divided by mirrors to send light to the image drum, so the internal structure is complex and the actual printer body is often large as well. Compared to this, LED printers send light directly to the image drum, so they can be designed without mirrors and a shorter distance to the image drum, which reduces the size of the printer body. In addition, the inside structure is simple, so maintenance is also simple.
LED print heads have multiple LEDs arranged in a straight line, and they turn on and off depending on the print signal.
OKI Digital Imaging has developed a device (epifilm LED array) that integrates the LEDs with the IC that drives them using epifilm bonding (EFB) technology, and this is used in our LED print heads.
OKI DATA’s LED print heads are made up of a chip-on-board (COB) that mounts multiple epifilm LED arrays on a circuit board for the print width, whether A4, A3, etc., and a rod lens array that produces images on the image drum from the light emitted by the LEDs.
For example, a 600 dpi (dot per inch) A4-size print head has 4,992 dot LEDs arranged in a straight line that each emit light and turn off depending on the print data to write the latent image on the image drum.
This technology bonds a thin-film semiconductor material with a different material by applying proprietary nano-manufacturing technology to bond the materials using intermolecular force at room temperature rather than adhesives.
This has enabled a new device that integrates the light-emitting device and drive circuit to be mass produced for the first time in the world, and this has made it possible to commercialized compact LED print heads at high rates of productivity.
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