Test deployment of new on-demand hub & shuttle mobility system at U Michigan; connected & automated vehicles & big data
Stanford team sets record for solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of solar water splitting: >30%

BlackBerry signs agreement with Ford for expanded use of BlackBerry’s QNX and security software

BlackBerry Limited has signed an agreement with Ford Motor Company for expanded use of BlackBerry’s QNX and security software. The deal signifies an acceleration in BlackBerry’s pivot from hardware to software in support of the automaker’s goal of providing connected vehicles and mobility to its customers.

As part of this agreement, BlackBerry will dedicate a team to work with Ford on expanding the use of BlackBerry’s QNX Neutrino Operating System, Certicom security technology, QNX hypervisor and QNX audio processing software. The terms of the deal are confidential.

The future of the automobile is all about embedded intelligence. I believe our expertise in secure embedded software makes us the preferred technology provider to put the smart in the car.

—John Chen, executive chairman and CEO at BlackBerry

Quantum Software Systems, later renamed QNX software systems, was acquired by Blackberry in 2010. The company specializes in operating systems, tools and applications for embedded systems.

QNX Neutrino real-time operating system (RTOS) is a full-featured, multi-core operating system with advanced security and fault containment mechanisms built directly into the OS and kernel, with flexible graphics technologies.

Neutrino RTOS architecture. Click to enlarge.

The QNX Neutrino RTOS is ideal for embedded realtime applications. It can be scaled to very small sizes and provides multitasking, threads, priority-driven preemptive scheduling, and fast context—all with a POSIX-standard API. Developers can easily customize the OS to meet the needs of their applications, from a “bare-bones” configuration of the microkernel with a few small modules to a full-blown network-wide system equipped to serve hundreds of users.

QNX Neutrino achieves this through two fundamental principles: the microkernel architecture and message-based interprocess communication.

Neutrino features a true microkernel design; the modular architecture enable customers to create optimized and reliable systems with low total cost of ownership. Because every driver, protocol stack, filesystem, and application runs in the safety of memory-protected user space, virtually any component can be automatically restarted if it fails.

It thus provides inherent protection and isolation for safety-critical software components—regardless of whether the system comprises of only safety-related components or a mix of safety and non-safety components. For example, with proper separation and isolation, the malfunctioning of the RPM gauge component on a digital instrument cluster cannot impact the master warning light component, even when both are running on the same hardware. In QNX Neutrino RTOS, each component remains isolated and executes in memory-protected user space. QNX adaptive partitioning further safeguards the operation of the safety-critical components by ensuring they are never starved of CPU cycles.

The QNX Neutrino RTOS also offers a suite of security mechanisms, such as encrypted filesystems, memory guard pages, and limited root permissions. The QNX graphics technologies use hardware layering (pipelines) for combining multiple content sources together into a single image.

The QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment is a set of pre-integrated and optimized technologies from QNX Software Systems and dozens of ecosystem partners. Designed for flexibility, the platform provides development teams with a variety of options for building reliable infotainment systems that keep pace with ongoing advancements in mobile device markets.

BlackBerry’s QNX software powers more than 60 million vehicles, including the SYNC 3 Infotainment system in Ford’s current models.


The comments to this entry are closed.