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Agfa Monotype Acquires Granite Systems

Press release from the issuing company

WILMINGTON, Mass., July 15, 2003 - Agfa Monotype Corp., a worldwide provider of font and imaging technologies, has acquired Granite Systems Inc. of Boulder, Colo., a software development firm focused on driver technologies for laser and inkjet printers, multifunction devices and digital presses. "We identified a need in the industry for full-featured printer drivers," said Doug Shaw, senior vice president of Agfa Monotype. "After studying Granite, a well-respected, established company with considerable driver expertise, we recognized synergies that aligned directly with our mission - to provide printer manufacturers with the best solutions for fonts, color and drivers. We're now able to move forward with an integrated approach that will allow printer manufacturers to realize significant benefits: faster time-to-market, superior print quality, faster device performance and full compliance with industry standards. No other single supplier is as uniquely positioned to offer similar solutions." "We're extremely pleased to be joining forces with Agfa Monotype,"said Mike Osborn, president and founding partner of Granite Systems, formed in 1996. "As the No. 1 supplier of fonts and color, Agfa Monotype has an exceptional reputation for highly responsive customer support as well as a deep understanding of customer requirements. These same customers need printer drivers, which often prove challenging for in-house developers who must keep up with advances in driver technology. Ultimately, customers will benefit through their close partnerships with Agfa Monotype - an industry-leading single-source supplier for these technologies." "Our customers are well aware that performance is a vital factor - it plays right into the market success of every printer," said Dave McCarthy, vice president and general manager of Agfa Monotype's Printer Imaging group. "Granite's technologies have an immediate advantage: independent tests show that Granite drivers perform 25-48 percent faster than alternative drivers. That's a significant benefit we're pleased to integrate as part of our package." McCarthy noted other technology aspects that will benefit printer manufacturers as a result of the acquisition. "For home and office document portability, we're able to bundle HP-compatible fonts with GDI-based home printers. These same fonts ship today with nearly all office printers. Users benefit with fonts that match between home and office printers. No font substitution occurs, and no differences arise in character design, spacing, line breaks or page breaks. Granite's drivers also support our patented color technologies which encompass halftone screening, color management and device color profile generation." Granite Systems source code is available in printer development kits, providing manufacturers with the flexibility to customize core driver technology. PDKs are available for both PDL- and GDI-based printers. Each kit includes source code for designing a graphical user interface that is common across different operating systems, tailored to particular printer devices or a family of devices. The GUI can be further customized in hours, rather than weeks or months, to support new devices. Driver architecture includes a core driver for generating printed output and a separate component for a variety of user-selectable functions such as booklet printing, chapter pages and watermarks. User-selectable functions can be added later without altering the core driver - while still maintaining the common GUI. Printer manufacturers that have implemented Granite Systems drivers include Minolta, Minolta-QMS, Seiko-Epson, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Panasonic and Heidelberg Digital. Over a span of 15 years, Agfa Monotype has licensed technologies to 65 printer manufacturers, which represent more than 90 percent of laser printers in use worldwide. UFST (Universal Font Scaling Technology(tm)), one of Agfa Monotype's flagship products, is a compact, embedded font scaling subsystem that reads, interprets and processes hinted font data. UFST is the only subsystem that uses industry-standard trademarked font names and font metrics, ensuring true compatibility with printer devices based on font standards from Adobe and Hewlett-Packard. Agfa Monotype offers ColorTune tool kits for building halftonescreens, creating and editing device color profiles, and embedding color transformation calculations in color output devices. Kits are tailored to meet the development schedules of printer manufacturers and empower their products to produce exceptional color image quality.

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