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  1. Technology
April 3, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Burlington, Massachusetts-based Xionics Document Technologies Inc will not say whether it will be supplying its PhoenixPage PostScript clone language – derived from its acquisition of Phoenix Technologies Ltd’s print technologies – to Hewlett- Packard Co for use when the latter dumps Adobe Systems Inc’s PostScript on some of its printers in favor of a clone implementation from the second half of next year (CI No 2,879). It notes that the UK’s Harlequin Ltd, plus Pipeline Inc and Destiny Technologies Inc in the US also supply PostScript- compatible printer command languages. Privately-held Xionics, which began life as a UK concern, has an existing relationship with Hewlett-Packard and a joint development agreement with Adobe. However printer market watchers that have recently researched customer attitudes and buying preferences say that the corporates they have spoken to are mandating that printer purchases use native Adobe PostScript, not clones, which they say are not yet good enough. Meantime, Xionics says it is working on new core hardware and software technologies to meet emerging requirements for Intranet-Internet, information capture and document color on multi-function peripherals – products that do not just print. An example is its print operating system for intelligent peripherals, which can host multiple file formats, including PostScript, as personalities. Print silicon development is based at its Dortmund, Germany-based Xionics GmbH unit, formed from acquisition of HiBRIC Technology GmbH at the end of last year. The operation is responsible for developing Xionic’s XipChip microcontroller for multifunction products which implements its proprietary high-speed image processing software on IBM Corp’s embedded PowerPC 401. The company’s other businesses include printer software, imaging (including personal computer boards) and scanner control boards. It has other operations in UK, Berkshire and Japan. The rapidly expanding 160- person company is run by former Tadpole Technology Plc executive Robert Gilkes. With $11m of venture capital already in the bank to fund work Xionics is now doing, it looks hot for a flotation.

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