Information Technology

Gartner Glossary

Serial Inkjet

An output device that creates the desired image by emitting ink from an array of orifices or nozzles. The array of nozzles shuttles across the page, printing one character at a time, or serially. This category includes the following types of device:


  • Piezo electric inkjet — Print heads in which ink is ejected by electrically actuating a special crystalline or ceramic component to compress the ink and force it out of the nozzle.
  • Thermal inkjet — Heat is used to generate vapor bubbles, which are ejected through nozzles that project droplets onto a surface to form text or images. Thermal inkjet’s advantages include small and highly controlled droplets and high system reliability. Thermal inkjet print heads are used in a wide range of serial and line inkjets. Originally developed for desktop printers, thermal inkjet printing has spread to specialty applications, such as direct-mail addressing, wide-format printing and package coding operations.

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