Atmel's ARM9 Core Powers for Franklin's Next Generation Handheld Products

4/15/2003 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) and Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. (AMEX: FEP) announced that Franklin has chosen an Atmel ARM® core-based ASIC to power its next generation of handheld consumer products. Franklin is the worldwide market leader in handheld electronic reference books, and Atmel is a premier provider of advanced semiconductors. Atmel's family of ASICs based on ARM® technology provides all the key ingredients, including a line of ARM core-based standard products for immediate prototyping and software development, qualified-in-silicon hardware blocks, a low-power 0.18-micron standard cell library and vast experience with over 70 ARM core-based designs completed in the last five years.

"The Atmel choice was a solid decision. Their flagship ARM core-based product line helped us to standardize on our next generation platform, integrate as much as we could for a one-chip solution and have it all come together quickly," commented Kurt Goszyk, Chief Technology Officer, Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc.

"The ARM architecture is enabling the new generation of handheld devices to be more powerful and feature-rich while keeping the low power attributes that ARM is known for," said John Rayfield, VP, US Marketing, ARM. "By working with Atmel and its family of ARM Powered® ASICs, Franklin will be able to make its products as powerful as the latest handheld computer, with great scope for new and innovative multimedia applications."

By combining a powerful ARM9 core with all the right peripherals, Atmel will create a platform that gives Franklin's products a 'Performance-on-Demand' feature. This means it can be 'tuned' to the right performance and power for the given application. Performance for this chip will range from 50 to over 160 MIPS.

This choice of microprocessor plays well with Franklin's broad product line, ranging from dictionaries, translators, and electronic reference books. For example, audio decoding (e.g., MP3, WMA) can be added as a feature using a software upgrade on the same hardware platform. ARM core-based test chips and development platforms supported by Atmel will also ensure that both the software development and chip development are done in parallel. Atmel has a comprehensive line of standard ARM core-based products enabling fast time-to-market and off-the-shelf software tools and operating system ports.

"Atmel serves both sides of the market: standard off-the-shelf ASSPs as well as custom ASICs. It's a combination that appeals to large and small customers alike," says Jim Turley, analyst and editor of Silicon-Insider. "ASSPs can lead to cost-effective ASICs, which can then spin off a new ASSP. It's a great strategy. Although some have questioned the role of ASICs in the future, this business model seems to work quite well."

Atmel is ranked in the top 10 ASIC suppliers in the world and is now targeting more commercial applications. More details on the Franklin products utilizing Atmel's range of ARM core-based ASICs will be announced later this year. Franklin's high quality electronic reference content is available for any platform including today's popular Palm®, Windows CE®, pocket PC and SymbianTM based handheld devices.

About Atmel
About Atmel Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, bipolar SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.

About Franklin
Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. (AMEX:FEP) is the worldwide market leader in handheld electronic books, including the popular BOOKMAN® series. The Company also licenses its hardware and software to third party technology partners such as Adobe Systems, Ademco (a division of Honeywell), Mobile Digital Media (formerly a division of Palm) and Macromedia, Inc. The Company is the exclusive producer and distributor of ROLODEX® Electronics brand of personal information management products and the distributor throughout North and South America of SEIKO branded reference products. Franklin has sold more than 29,000,000 electronic books and currently publishes or distributes more than 8000 titles, including dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries; encyclopedias; Bibles; entertainment titles; education and tutorial publications; trade books; and medical reference works. Franklin products, available in 16 languages, are sold in 45,000 retail outlets worldwide, through catalogs and online at The Company has sales and distribution subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and Mexico, and a production management office in Hong Kong. ROLODEX® is a registered trademark of Berol Corporation, a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. SEIKO® is a registered trademark of SEIKO Corporation.

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.

Atmel and the Atmel logo are registered trademarks of Atmel Corporation. BOOKMAN is a registered trademark of Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. ROLODEX is a registered trademark of Berol Corporation, a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. Palm is a registered trademark of Palm Computing. Windows CE is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. Symbian is a registered trademark of Symbian Limited.

ARM and ARM Powered are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. "ARM" is used to represent ARM Holdings plc (LSE: ARM and Nasdaq: ARMHY); its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; and ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.

Atmel's product information may be retrieved at Franklin's product information may be retrieved at

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