The function of image processing systems usually consists of three basic steps: (i) image acquisition, (ii) image processing, and (iii) output of the results with possible intermediate image data presentation. 'Off the shelf' architectures, used, e.g., in the standard personal computers, achieve the necessary bus performance in the required real time only in few inline applications. Highly innovative bus systems with pipeline architectures are therefore needed for ensuring huge data throughput in the specifically oriented optical quality inspection systems. The imaging systems for quality inline inspection have to meet specific requirements on data acquisition and communications, mainly: -to ensure a connection of various sensors of heterogeneous nature, such as area scan cameras, line scan cameras, fast CMOS cameras with selectable readout capabilities, -to incorporate carefully designed high speed communication buses between the processing nodes and the sensor adapters, -to manifest a good balance between real time behavior, flexibility, performance and cost efficiency. We have developed innovative real time communication buses for the real-time imaging system designed in the ARC Seibersdorf research Ltd. and used in optical quality inspection of printed matter. In this paper we address in details: -the hardware layout and the individual functions of the innovative buses, -the evaluation of the behavior of the buses in a quality inspection system with extreme real-time demands. All benefits are explained and numerically documented that can be of interest for reader dealing with other applications.