KYOCERA Develops World’s Fastest Thermal Printhead for Card Printers

Start of mass production

08 March 2010

Kyoto/ Neuss, 08 March 2010 — Kyocera Corporation announced that it has successfully developed the new KLE Series thermal printhead for desktop card printers used to print onto rigid materials such as ID cards and credit cards. The new printhead is capable of 300-dpi, full-color, high-resolution printing at 50mm per second — the industry’s highest speed*1 for this type of printhead. The company started mass production March 1, 2010.

Enhancements to the KLE Series printhead structure using Kyocera’s design technology have increased the print speed beyond that of its predecessor — which was already the industry’s front-runner in print speed. The new printhead employs Kyocera’s proprietary double partial glaze (DPG) structure in the real edge head*2. The DPG structure uses the convex shape of the heat-storage glaze layer to increase thermal efficiency for printing, thus achieving a speed about 1.5 times that of the company’s conventional real-edge printhead. This series also achieves a high-resolution print quality by using a split structure for the heater.
Kyocera, which holds the top market share in the printhead industry, expands its lineup with this new product to meet customers’ wide range of needs and to realize the high-speed and high-resolution print quality required in the desktop card printer market.

Product Overview


ModelKLE Series Thermal Printhead
Dimensions66×31×9mm (WxDxH)
Production locationsFront-end process in Kagoshima  Hayato Factory (Japan)
Back-end process in Nagano Okaya Factory (Japan)
Mass production scheduleFull-scale mass production starts from March 1, 2010
Production target3,000 units/month with target of 10,000 units/month after one year

 *1 The KLE Series is the industry’s fastest thermal printhead for desktop card printers (based on Kyocera’s research as of February 9, 2010).
*2 Real edge printheads place the heating element on the edge of the substrate to enable printing without bending the media. Real edge printheads are mainly used for rigid materials such as plastic cards.