Harlequin® Embedded SDK

Global Graphics’ Harlequin Embedded SDK provides printer and multi-function peripheral (MFP) manufacturers with high-performance components for PDL interpretation and rendering on their choice of embedded controller.

Harlequin Embedded SDK can be ported to most embedded environments and offers true native PostScript®, PDF, PCL and XPS interpretation. Highly flexible APIs facilitate easy integration of OEM or 3rd party intellectual property and its modular architecture enables small footprint and low memory requirements.

The Harlequin Embedded SDK processes PostScript®, PDF, PCL and XPS natively on a wide range of controller architectures and operating systems. It’s scalable so that OEM partners can deploy native PDL solutions across all their products using a common architecture.

Configurable support for multiple PDL formats, a compact and efficient software kernel, and sophisticated graphics and color handling routines ensure the Harlequin Embedded SDK delivers the ideal software solution for embedded controllers. It is suited for a vast array of devices including both monochrome and color printers and Multi Function Printers (MFPs).

Implementation options range from OEMs utilizing comprehensive SDK documentation with support via Global Graphics’ Technical Services team, to a full integration service which gives access to our dedicated embedded development team who provide custom API deliverables that are specific to OEM requirements, as well as on site customer support.

Typical embedded system software architecture

The Global Graphics’ Harlequin Embedded SDK can be ported to most embedded environments and provides peripheral manufacturers with many key functions including:
  • True native PostScript®, PDF, PCL and XPS interpretation without conversion first to another format. OEMs may choose to take all these PDLs, or any combination and build them into a single solutions. For specific PJL implementations OEMs should contact Global Graphics with their requirements
  • Modular architecture enabling small footprint and low memory requirements
  • Highly flexible APIs facilitating easy integration of OEM or 3rd party intellectual property including:
    • Color management
    • Font handling
    • Screening
    • Compression/decompression
  • Extensive programmatic configuration language for:
    • PDF interpretation (PostScript, PDF, PCL, XPS)
    • Transparency support
    • Color management
    • Trapping
    • Screening: AM, FM, HDS (Harlequin Dispersed Screening), Custom
  • Disk and diskless operation, with the ability to use a RAM-based file system if required
  • Device resident font support
  • Emulation of body text fonts in single-byte scripts, and facilities for font substitution
  • Support for a wide range of print resolutions, bit depths, color models and interleaving and frame raster format styles.
  • Cross-platform support.

The Harlequin Embedded SDK in a typical controller environment

By partnering with Global Graphics and using the Harlequin Embedded SDK, you get market leading technology and premium support to assist you with your product development.

  • Easy integration into your new products providing shortened development cycles and quicker time to market
  • Low risk – we help you deliver your projects on time and on budget. We insulate you from PDF interpretation worries and provide support through the entire product lifecycle including product specification, design, integration and ongoing support with the product in the market
  • Low costs - achieved through a code base designed for portability to common embedded processors, real time operating systems and low memory implementations
  • Optimized technology to process complex graphics, tune performance and maintain flexibility
  • Design flexibility facilitates value-added customization so that you can engineer in competitive differentiation
  • Integration with your intellectual property: proprietary color management, halftone algorithms (error diffusion and screens) and other image quality improvement algorithms, finishing options, document processing and other device specific features
  • Reliable and robust technology from Global Graphics with more than 25 years of experience in developing PDL technology and a proven track record of providing solutions from high to low end devices across the digital print market
  • Scalable solutions available using the same core technology for deployment across all your devices, giving you a single point of integration for custom features, consistent output and a consistent user experience.

Supported environments

  • Windows
x86, Intel Atom
  • Monta Vista® Linux®
x86, Intel Atom
  • VxWorks®
  • ThreadX
  • Embedded Linux
ARM, PCC, Intel Atom
  • Other platform support available on request.

File Format Support

  • PostScript Language Level 1, 2, 3
  • PDF 1.0 - 1.7 support, including transparency and JBIG2/JPEG 2000 compression
  • PCL 5c, 5e, XL
  • XPS 1.0, including native transparent rendering model to support XPS opacity, support for all XPS image formats including JPEG, PNG, TIFF and HD Photo; and extensible Print Ticket; and XML namespace support
  • Direct image printing - TIFF, JFIF and JPEG.

Fonts Options

  • Type 0,Type 1,Type 2,Type 3,Type 32, Type 42
  • Multiple master fonts
  • TrueType® fonts, directly and as Type 42
  • OpenType (CFF and TrueType outlines)
  • Monotype Imaging Microtype (UFST) fonts
  • Bitstream Font Fusion fonts
  • CID fonts (CID Font Type 0, 1, 2, 4)
  • Morisawa encrypted Kanji fonts
  • Emulation of missing fonts in single-byte scripts, and extensive capabilities for font substitution
  • API to link to 3rd party or custom fonts


  • AM, FM, HDS (Harlequin Dispersed Screening)
  • Single and multi-level
  • API to link to 3rd-party custom screening, threshold tables loaded direct from RAM, ROM or file.

Graphics Support

  • Separated/composite output:
    • DeviceGray, DeviceRGB, Device CMYK, DeviceN colorspaces
  • Bit Depth: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16
  • Raster delivery in pixel, band, frame, separation, colored separations or progressive separations

Color Management

  • Support for PostScript Language CRD’s
  • Custom Rendering Intents
  • Global Color Correction in LAB space
  • Emulation - Allows for RGB-LAB-CMYK
  • WCS support
  • ICC profile support, (including ICC v4.0): N-color profile support; Grey Profile support”device-link” profile support for direct CMYK-to-CMYK color transformations; Black point compensation
  • API to link to 3rd-party Color Management Systems

Memory Requirements

  • Code size ranges from 3.5MB for a single PDL (PostScript or PCL) to 8.5MB for all 6 PDLS - This excludes resources and is based on a Windows build. Embedded targets are generally larger, dependent on processor and compiler.
  • Resources are typically 4MB for PostScript and up to 25MB (uncompressed) for all 6 PDLs. These are configurable depending on resources such as fonts, and are normally compressed and built into for Embedded platform builds.
  • Working RAM is a minimum of 25MB for PostScript with a typical range of 45MB to 128MB for multiple PDLs.