Psion Software launches EPOC32

Mobile ROM-based platform premieres on Psion Series 5 palmtop

June 16, 1997

BURLINGAME, CALIFORNIA, USA - 16 June 1997 - The wraps were taken off Psion Software's mobile ROM-based computing platform EPOC32 at today's New York PC Expo when sister company Psion Computers launched the Series 5 palmtop computer.

The Series 5 finally enables Psion Software to show its third-generation platform to the public. The highly optimized, C++, multi-tasking, 32-bit OS includes a fully featured suite of Personal Information Management, productivity and communications applications. The platform is entirely modular and supports embedded graphics and voice as well as pen and keyboard input.

"The experience we gained designing the world's most successful palmtop computers gave us an invaluable insight into the requirements of mobile ROM-based computing products," said Stephen Randall, Joint Managing Director of Psion Software. "We recognised the opportunity to design a long term platform that would be equally at home in a smart-phone, mobile network computer or palmtop computer. Such products require robust and properly architected platforms to serve the growing list of demanding features. EPOC32 has been designed to deal with differing user interfaces, unique communications requirements and demanding battery management without sacrificing performance."

"We specified a platform that would underpin our next generation of mobile computing products," said Dr. Jack McGinley, Managing Director of Psion Computers. "We asked Psion Software for a communications platform that was uncompromising on performance, battery life, ease of use and depth of applications. Furthermore, it had to be incredibly flexible to accommodate our innovative hardware requirements and our roadmap for powerful, sophisticated yet useful mobile devices over the next five years. EPOC32 met every design objective. "

The EPOC32 platform is 'fit for purpose', and like its predecessors gives significant time-to-market advantages to licensees because it has been architected for reuse. Its thin client, modular architecture allows sophisticated applications to reuse the platform components. As an example an EPOC32 word processor or spread sheet application can have embedded objects, sound, colour graphics and be "round-trip" compatible with their best selling desk counterparts yet only require around 100Kb of code and execute directly out of ROM.

The real-time performance of EPOC32 allows it to run telephony protocol stacks and makes it suitable for communications enabled devices. The platform can be scaled from its multi-process variant which is ideal for high-end palmtop computers, to an embedded variant which is ideal for mobile cellular phones.

Psion Computers is the first of several licensees to announce EPOC32 products. The potential for the new EPOC32 platform was recognised by Psion Group as being wider than the palmtop market so in June last year, the company restructured and set up Psion Software to license its technologies.

"Psion Software is focused on the mobile computing and telephony sectors," stated Randall. "We have licensed EPOC32 to major companies outside of Psion Group and we will be making announcements about those deals over the coming months. Our licensees selected Psion Software because we have proven our technology leadership by delivering winning products. We are delighted with our progress and we will be doubling in headcount over the next twelve months in order to accommodate our business growth."

There are two development environments available for EPOC32 - a C++ SDK and the "Basic-like" OPL32. A Java SDK is slated for early '98. More than three hundred and fifty developers, familiar with Psion Software's previous award winning platforms have already signed up for EPOC32 and this number is growing by more than one hundred a month. Many applications ranging from finance packages, route-finders and chess are already available for the Series 5.