Power Architecture and the Industrial Market

From its very beginning, QNX has served the industrial market with our products and it continues to be a key focus for us. We have many customers building many products in this segment. We pay a lot of attention to ensure that our products align with the needs of the industrial developer.


The industrial market has traditionally built systems based on x86 architecture. In the past year or two, however, we have seen industrial customers choosing the Freescale PowerQUICC family of processors for new designs. I’m not suggesting that everyone is moving away from x86 – just that we are starting to see real demand for Power Architecture in industrial. We have supported these devices for many years to serve the networking market and it is interesting, to me at least, that they are finding homes on the factory floor.


There are a few reasons, I think, for the shift. The industrial market is moving from standalone systems to a more connected model where sharing data and control between multiple devices across a network is fundamental to the overall system architecture. Highly integrated processors like the PowerQUICC offer great built-in networking capabilities. Further, the PowerQUICC family of processors has been developed specifically for the embedded market and customers can rest assured that Freescale understands the requirements of the embedded lifecycle. The price points that they are able to hit with these devices are also helping them garner market share.


As these devices move into applications like vision systems, high speed scanning and quality control, the burden of computationally intensive processing increases dramatically. System architects typically rely on hardware floating point units to address this requirement.


I am happy to report that we introduced e500v2 double precision floating point support in the release of Neutrino 6.4.1. Embedded developers using QNX now have yet another choice for their designs.




One Response to Power Architecture and the Industrial Market

  1. Paul Leroux says:

    Interesting point, Romain. Because PowerQUICC parts are labeled as “communications” processors, I’ve always assumed that they were designed specifically for netcom systems. But a brief perusal of the Freescale site confirms my error: Freescale does indeed target IA systems with some of their PowerQUICC models.

    – Paul

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