February 24, 2003


NEWBURY, UK - Snell & Wilcox announced that it has stopped development of its disk-based hardware platform. As a result, it will no longer sell the Spirint workstation, Splicer conformer and Piccaso color correction products that were originally acquired as part of the purchase of HD workstation manufacturer Post Impressions in September 2001.

This decision to discontinue the products only affects this generation of Snell & Wilcox hardware development. The company says it is committed to building on the system know-how acquired in the platform development program, on its understanding of the AAF (Advanced Authoring Format) and on the capabilities of its Synapse software. Synapse is a workgroup metadata server based on the AAF object model.

Snell & Wilcox will continue to provide service and support to current customers of disk-based products, such as the Piccaso. The combined Spirint/Splicer solution had yet to ship.

"Splicer is based on Synapse software," explains VP of marketing John Shike. "This technology is designed to provide functionality using the advanced authoring format, AAF. We're very committed to the Synapse software and to open standards solutions such as AAF and MXF. We're going to continue that work and we have an engineering group that is involved in that work, doing research and development in that technology.

"I think the technology on the software side was considered more primary and important to the company as a whole, with more ways that it can be integrated," Shike continues. "My personal feeling is AAF is very important for getting info around in the post process. AAF is designed to replace what the CMX EDL was and Avid OMF was. And I think it's important to support that. I'm glad to see our continued focus on Synapse."

For the most part, those coming from the Post Impressions side of the business will be absorbed into Snell & Wilcox as a whole, says Shike, making them seamless contributors to the company's products and technology, and operating less as an independent group.

Snell & Wilcox hopes to find positions within the company for those that focused on disk technology.