Award Software in the Press

Jan. 8, 1998

Award Software Announces First USB Host-Enabling Software for Embedded Systems, Consumer Electronics Products

Mountain View, Calif. — Award Software International® Inc. (Nasdaq:AWRD), today announced its new Universal Serial Bus product, USBAccess™. This USB-host software is targeted for consumer electronics and embedded device manufacturers.

Universal Serial Bus is a new computer interface that provides a single, one-size-fits-all plug and port connection for a variety of computer peripherals and consumer electronics such as digital cameras, joysticks, monitors, mice, scanners, speakers, printers, mobile phones and Internet appliances. USB provides users with instant "hot" plug and play benefits without the need to adjust system settings, insert add-in cards or restart the computer. USB also facilitates the addition or removal of up to 127 devices into one computer by using USB peripherals such as monitors, printers and keyboards as additional port outlets or "hubs." USB is now featured on virtually all new PCs and new USB peripheral products being announced regularly.

Award Software's USBAccess is a complete USB software solution available for host-side embedded device manufacturers. The product's features are a full implementation of the current USB specification 1.0 and include the host controller software stack and host-class drivers, supporting all USB functions for the growing number of USB devices. It provides manufacturers with seamless integration of USB devices into products based upon operating systems that do not include support for the USB standard.

"One of the great benefits of USB technology is its flexibility, from the ability to attach a variety of peripherals through one USB port to the option of connecting several devices simultaneously without having to shut down or reboot the computer," said Jarvis Tou, Director, Peripheral Connectivity Products, Intel's Connected PC Division. "Award has now taken advantage of this flexibility by delivering a complete USB software solution to the traditional embedded market and the rapidly growing embedded PC application industry."

Steve Whalley, chairman, USB Implementers Forum, said, "With USBAccess, Award is offering the first software solution that allows USB to be ported to other operating systems — including RTOS, UNIX and network operating systems — which should help accelerate USB product development on those platforms. Furthermore, USBAccess represents a significant step toward bringing plug-and-play and the other benefits of USB to the embedded world."

"USBAccess is our latest product targeted at the embedded systems ," said Ann Shen, Award Software's Senior Vice President of Strategic Business. "Award Software believes USB could gradually become the preferred connectivity mechanism for many classes of computer peripherals starting in the second half of 1998. The adoption of USB in the broad computer market will fuel the demand for USB connectivity in embedded systems including consumer electronics and industrial control devices. USBAccess represents a very quick way for manufacturers of USB-based embedded systems to bring products to market."

Award Software provides system management software (SMS) for personal computers and for embedded systems. Award’s cornerstone PC SMS product, BIOS, is marketed to computer and motherboard manufacturers, and is included in 60 percent of all x86-based desktops and servers worldwide. In addition, Award provides solutions to facilitate system administration and reduce total cost of ownership through remote administration, diagnostic, and repair products; enhanced support for PC Cards; and BIOS upgrades to extend the useful life of existing PCs. Award also offers a complete line of products for manufacturers of embedded systems, including Internet appliances. These SMS products for real time operating systems include turnkey Internet device-enabling software, Win32® compatibility libraries, USB host and device connectivity software, and BIOS for embedded x86 systems. Award Software, headquartered in Silicon Valley, has offices in Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan and across the US. For more information, email info@award.com.

The company's stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol AWRD. More information can be obtained from the company's SEC filings.

The statements in this news release, other than the historical financial information, may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties including those associated with the acceptance of new technology and products for the Internet and embedded systems market, Award Software’s ability to respond to technological change and other market conditions that could cause actual results to differ materially. Further information on factors that could affect the company’s results are detailed in Award Software’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 1996, and on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 1997, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACTS:
Toni Goodrich
Manager, Marketing Communications
Award Software International

Ellen Brook/Deborah Stapleton
Stapleton Communications Inc.

Corporate Marketing

© 1998 Award Software International Inc. All rights reserved.

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