The main functions and principle of operation of the formatter board in the printer

It should be emphasized that the speed of any printer is directly dependent on such a detail as the formatter board. This part is a microprocessor, the function of which is to process information transmitted to the printer from a PC. Usually, this term means the entire board of the module responsible for processing information, which, in turn, contains the formatter itself, as well as the ROM chip, printer RAM and some other equally important details.

The key condition for the ability to print various text and graphic files on the device is the serviceability of the printer formatter and the parts that support its operation. If the formatter is out of order, the printer will become a completely useless machine that can only print sheets with vertical stripes.

The content of the article

Construction of the board and principle of operation

Any modern printer model is necessarily equipped with a microprocessor, which serves to process data from a PC. In turn, the formatting board, on which this part is located, is connected to the controller of the device mechanisms through a connector.

It should be noted that this module, i.e. the formatter board has no practical relation to the functioning of the mechanisms of the printing device. After the formation of all the data necessary for printing, the formatter generates a kind of print command intended for the controller of the device mechanisms. The latter begins testing the key drive units, and then loads the paper for printing. Then, when the paper takes the desired position, the controller sends a message to the microprocessor that everything is ready for further work. The formatter, after receiving this confirmation, transfers data from RAM to control the printer’s laser. The transfer of messages and commands between the microprocessor and the controller is carried out in a certain form.

Centronics and clock generator

Image of a current generator

This interface connector, included in the formatter board module, is used to provide communication between the device and the PC to which it is connected. In addition, next to this connector there are microcircuits, the function of which consists of buffering and matching between the interface signals and the signal levels of the microprocessor. Also, their presence allows you to protect the formatter from the possible appearance of various electrostatic discharges on the interface.

In addition, a clock generator is required on a part such as the formatter board. Thanks to him, clock pulses are formed in the device, in accordance with which all operations and formatter cycles are performed. In addition, such boards are necessarily equipped with a quartz resonator, which is able to stabilize the oscillator frequency. This part is located inside the microcircuit and at the output it forms a sinusoidal type signal.


On such a part of the device for printing, as a formatting board, chips of permanent and random access memory devices are placed, i.e. ROM and RAM. They have external memory that is programmatically available to the microprocessor. It is used, as a rule, in order to store all the software necessary to process the incoming data. In addition, it is in this external memory that all the information that needs to be printed is saved.

In printers of the laser variety, as a rule, there is the possibility of expanding the amount of external memory. For this purpose, the board is equipped with connectors that are specially designed for the installation of new models. But it should be borne in mind that when installing additional RAM modules, the printer may slow down a little when it becomes necessary to print any complex jobs.

Control panel and connector

Printer control panel

In addition to all of the above, it must be added that any modern printer necessarily has a control panel. It is thanks to her that the connection between the user and the device is carried out. Despite the fact that the PU is usually located on the device case, it is not included in the formatter board unit, but its work is ensured precisely by the formatter.

A special connector is used to establish a stable connection between the board and the microprocessor and the board with the controller. A certain supply voltage and a Reset signal are supplied through it, which ensures the start of the microprocessor at the supply voltage of the optimal level. In addition, this connector is used as a “bridge” to transfer information between elements such as a controller, a mechanism and a formatter.

Thus, the imaging unit in the printer is as important a part as, for example, a laser or a fuser. Therefore, from time to time it is necessary to carry out its diagnostics to identify possible problems and malfunctions. do not forget that the printing of the device largely depends on the state of this particular part. During the diagnostics of the board with a microprocessor, the system bus, RAM, formatter serviceability, resonator operation and interface testing are checked.

If you have any problems, it is better to seek the help of specialists, because special skills and knowledge are needed here, and most users of office equipment are not even aware of the presence of such a microprocessor in the printer.


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