After years of selling cut-price printers, Lexmark has decided to give up and focus on its more profitable imaging and software businesses.
Although Lexmark will sell laser printers, it said that it will sell more than 1,000 inkjet-related patents and would cut 1,700 jobs, or 13 percent of its workforce.
Printer makers have had problems with falling sales. According to Reuters it is all because corporates are rushing to buy Apple tablets, however it is more likely that ink-jets have become out-dated by cheaper and better laser printers. This killed off the ink-jet model, as defined by HP, where people had to mortgage their house to pay for ink cartridges.
The inkjet market declined nearly 13 percent in the second quarter.
Lexmark said that revenue from inkjet hardware and supplies, which accounted for 21 percent of revenue last year, is to drop to about 10 percent in 2013.
It will continues to supply ink and support printers it already sold.
The company had already laid off 625 employees related to manufacturing consumer ink supplies in January.
Japanese engineers say they have created a piezoelectric thin film that could enable a new generation of high speed printing.
Researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kyoto University and others claim that for the first time they have achieved a switching time of 200 nanoseconds to power ultrafast MEMS printing.
Analysing the structural changes when a high speed electric current is applied to ferroelectric thin film, a type of piezoelectric, they found that they were able to cause a switching time they claim is a world record.
Piezoelectric thin films are able to provide the power for incredibly high resolution MEMS inkjet printers that can print staggeringly quickly.
The researchers say that switching time cannot be controlled adequately with the current generation of piezoelectric thin films and are hoping that their development can lead to greater industrial applications and higher performance products.
This will allow higher speed “fine printing” with a smaller quantity of ink than is possible with conventional technology, with the minute MEMS devices responsible for ink coating in ink jet printers.
According to the researchers, increased performance in MEMS devices will also provide benefits in the automotive world, with more accurate control over fuel consumption in engines by applying the technology to ceramic parts which control fuel use efficiency.