January 27, 2004 07:30:00 AM ET

Peerless Systems Corporation PRLS, a provider of imaging and networking controllers to the digital document market, today announced shipment of Everest(TM) MFP evaluation units at the request of two major potential customers.

The evaluation process represents one of the final steps in the commercial launch of Peerless' advanced new controller. Everest, which is based on Peerless' new Sierra high performance technologies, sets a new standard for controllers that operate printers, copiers and other multi-function peripherals (MFP) in the office color workgroup market. Peerless designed Everest with unparalleled ease of use and exceptional color quality for a broad range of office users. In addition, OEMs can customize the Everest feature set and brand the controller to create value unique for their own customers in contrast to other controller solutions.

"Everest is the culmination of several years of research and development for Peerless," said Howard Nellor, president and chief executive officer, Peerless. "We have worked closely with our OEM partners and with end users to ensure that Everest offers a unique value proposition that is tailored to their strategic priorities. More importantly, we've developed the Sierra technologies and the Everest product family to align and complement our partners' product roadmaps -- giving Peerless a distinct advantage in providing OEMs with key products and technologies that capitalize on the exploding office color MFP market."

According to IDC (Worldwide Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, 3Q '03 release), the worldwide unit shipment forecast for color laser MFPs at 24 pages per minute (ppm) and faster is expected to grow 64 percent from 83,800 units in 2003 to 137,500 units in 2004, and another 35 percent to 187,900 units in 2005.

Everest is the first Peerless designed and manufactured, high-speed, multi-bit MFP controller targeted at office users who will be using the new generation of 25 - 50 ppm color MFPs. The Everest solution uses Peerless' hardware acceleration via the recently announced QuickPrint(R) Xtreme(TM) 1100 ASIC to achieve high speed performance and outstanding quality at a low cost. Peerless believes that Everest's unique combination of price, performance and functionality for the office color MFP market will enable OEMs and channel companies to offer increasingly competitive solutions.

With Everest, the average office user can easily print sophisticated color documents without the help of the IT department, copier dealer support, or even the user manual. Simply pressing "Print" enables most users to produce high quality documents at high speed without compromising the color or calling in experts. Everest makes color adjustment simple with Peerless' easy color wizard. Users can create and save one or more color preference settings on their desktop and utilize these settings for their own work without affecting the print jobs of others on the network.

Everest also makes it easy for OEMs to customize their solutions to meet unique customer needs. The Everest MFP controller provides an open architecture that allows for OEM or third party software to be integrated seamlessly. This design gives OEM and channel customers new business options -- from leveraging Peerless' and other third party's intellectual properties to enabling office equipment dealers and resellers to build a solutions business around their MFP sales opportunities.

"Peerless is working closely with current and potential customers at all levels of distribution and we have received positive feedback about Everest and our overall strategy to address the office color MFP market," said Steve Robinson, vice president of marketing and sales, Peerless. "Our Everest controller family is well positioned to capture much of the unit growth that IDC has predicted in the coming years by directly addressing the needs of the average office user."

Peerless' Everest family of controllers will be marketed directly to MFP OEMs under the Peerless Partner-To-Develop(TM) program. On a select basis, Peerless will make turnkey Everest products available to OEM sales companies.

About Peerless Systems Corporation

Founded in 1982, Peerless Systems Corporation is a provider of imaging and networking controllers to the digital document markets, which include manufacturers of color, monochrome and multifunction office products and digital appliances. In order to process digital text and graphics, digital document products rely on a core set of imaging software and supporting electronics, collectively known as an imaging controller. Peerless' broad line of scalable software and silicon offerings enables its customers to shorten their time-to-market and reduce costs by offering unique solutions for multiple products. Peerless' customer base includes companies such as Canon, IBM, Konica/ Minolta, Kyocera, Legend, OkiData, Ricoh, Seiko Epson and Xerox. Peerless also maintains strategic partnerships with Adobe, IBM Microelectronics, and Novell. For more information, visit the Company's web site at www.peerless.com.
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