BURLINGTON, N.J., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. (NYSE: FEP) today announced that the EBM-911-504, a special developer edition of the Company's eBookMan(R) reader and multimedia content player, is now available at www.franklin.com/devzone . Franklin made its Software Developers' Kit (SDK) for eBookMan publicly available to developers on November 13, although the SDK has been used by selected partners of Franklin since early summer. The release of these special developer units is intended to make third-party applications for eBookMan available before full retail launch, scheduled for the first calendar quarter of 2001. "Frankin is gratified by the enthusiastic interest of the developer community in eBookMan," said Barry J. Lipsky, President and CEO. "To date thousands of developers have already registered for Franklin's free SDK, allowing them to create applications for the eBookMan series. We are especially pleased to now be making this special edition eBookMan available immediately for sale to certified developers. The special developers' version features 16MB of RAM in a limited edition cabinet specifically designed for the developer community", Lipsky added. Franklin's robust SDK features portions of the GNU toolkit (GCC 2.95.2 compiler, Insight/GDB debugger and simulator). Franklin's SDK currently supports RedHat Linux 6.1, and Windows 98/NT/2000 (using the CYGWIN package) environments. The proprietary CPU for the eBookMan platform is a 32-bit fully-custom 24 MHz RISC processor with numerous on-chip peripherals including MMU, USB device and host mode interfaces and support for real time speech decompression. Benchmarking indicates that Franklin's CPU can operate at significantly higher speeds than those used in today's most popular handheld devices. "The eBookMan is the kind of platform that developers have been waiting for to launch publications, games, and other applications into the handheld world," said Dr. Peter N. Yianilos, architect of the eBookMan and Franklin's Chief Architecture and Technology Advisor. "This is an exciting time; it is the birth of a major new platform -- the first modern open architecture to bring a feature-full media and application experience within just about anyone's budget. The developers we have communicated with already understand this clearly and are just as excited as we are." While security may be an issue with other platforms, Franklin's "open-but-secure" architecture enables developers to protect their applications and content against copying and tampering with Franklin's patent pending digital rights management (DRM) system based on cryptographic protocols. eBookMan won the inaugural eBook Technology Award at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. The award winning eBookMan is the world's first platform that provides protection of publisher and developer rights yet still allows open application development by third parties. The eBookMan device, an e-book reader and multimedia content player, also supports PDA functionality common to typical handhelds. Franklin will be launching three retail versions of eBookMan beginning at a suggested retail of $129.95 with 8MB of memory. All three eBookMan models have a large 240 x 200 pixel LCD that displays 87 percent more pixels than today's most popular handhelds. Each model provides consumers with a vehicle to download thousands of electronic books, audio books from audible.com , and music. eBookMan lets users synchronize their personal information from Microsoft(R) Outlook(R), record and play voice memos, and write notes easily with natural handwriting recognition. Information about how to purchase developer units and Franklin's SDK is available at www.franklin.com/devzone . Background Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. is the worldwide market leader in handheld electronic books, including the popular BOOKMAN(R) series. The Company is also the exclusive producer and distributor of ROLODEX(R) Electronics brand of personal information management products. Franklin has sold more than 24,000,000 electronic books and currently publishes more than 200 titles, including dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries; encyclopedias; Bibles; entertainment titles; education and tutorial publications; and medical reference works. Franklin products, available in 16 languages, are sold in 45,000 retail outlets worldwide, through catalogs and online at http://www.franklin.com . The Company has sales and distribution subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Benelux countries, Canada, Australia and Mexico, and production management offices in Tokyo and Hong Kong. ROLODEX(R) is a registered trademark of Berol Corporation, a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. Microsoft and Outlook are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp. Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed throughout this release, including, but not limited to, those that are stated as Franklin's belief or expectation or preceded by the word "should" are forward looking statements that involve risks to and uncertainties in Franklin's business, including, among other things, the timely availability and acceptance of new electronic books and organizers, changes in technology, the impact of competitive electronic products, the management of inventories, Franklin's dependence on third party component suppliers and manufacturers, including those that provide Franklin-specific parts, and other risks and uncertainties that may be detailed from time to time in Franklin's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc.