Color JBIG European Project

The main objective of the Color JBIG project is to develop and demonstrate the JBIG lossless compression/decompression hardware and software for document image processing (bitonal, greyscale, colour). Colorimetry works will be further investigated with the development and demonstration of a space color converter hardware component and associated library references.
In this project, the prototyped components will be implemented in 3 applications regarding lossless compression:
medical still images (X-ray, MRT, CT, ..),
steel inspection images (quality control for industries),
satellite images (earth observation).
Mass market applications are fax machines, MFP, color printers, scanners, copiers. These are also major markets targeted by the resulting products of this project.

The project will bring several operational and innovative products:

  • JBIG hardware implementation (prototyped ASIC called JBIG Codec)
  • Space color converter (prototyped FPGA called SC2)
  • A PCI bus board with the implementation of the JBIG Codec and SC2

These results will improve the development of JBIG compression and colorimetry in Europe by European companies for document image processing and transmission.
The business objectives are to take a significant share of the lossless hardware compression market for professional applications and to bring new products to be integrated in new digital office equipments (mainly color fax, MFP, color printers/scanners).

Why

Lossless coding/decoding algorithm is of interest for different reasons:

  • Legal reason (medical diagnostic, banking document processing,…)
  • Cost of acquired images such as satellite images for earth observation (no loss of information and precision)
  • The possibility to compress still images and natural colored images, not achievable today
  • Improvement of existing lossy compression systems

It is proven that the growing imaging market needs lossless and reliable algorithms.
Up to now, this need has not been properly answered, existing software solutions are slow and not compliant with time and quality requirements of applications.
JBIG brings also new features compared to lossy algorithms: quality of the compressed images, compatibility with printing techniques, no external memory required, color compression capabilities in several bitmaps (multi-tones), quality (vs. quantity of information) offered by JBIG for greyscale and color images compression/decompression for document image processing, … that makes JBIG the most interesting solution for digital office applications.
Colorimetry is also an emerging subject of growing importance for document image processing in any imaging peripheral. Each device uses a different color reference system (RGB, YUV, CMYK, GRAY) that bring the issue of color space conversion to guarantee accurate color viewing, reproduction, transmission and printing.

Who

The project is based on the JBIG and colorimetry core technologies that are mastered by the project leader: TAK’ASIC. These technologies are used in three different applications: steel inspection images, medical images, space images.
These three applications are developped by three different partners in three different countries:
PARSYTEC in Germany
IBERMATICA in Spain
SOFTEC in Italy.

The basic idea is to share the technology to decrease R&D costs and to expand the use of the components and libraries in the largest number of relevant applications.