30 years of QNX

April 28, 2010

Before you go there… no, this is not about me. Although many of you may feel like its been 30 years of Linda. Its actually only been 22 years (less a week, official anniversary is May 8). And yes, I started right out of kindergarten, something of a child protegy…

Back to 30 years, my very good friend and colleague, Paul Leroux (only 21 years under his belt), aka Blog Master and Twitter Guy, is doing a blog series on 30 years of QNX. It’s actually a very cool idea, very funny to look back from whence we came – as an industry, not just QNX.

His post today (which I’ll attempt to recreate or link to momentarily) is about our first web site and actually shows what it looked like. Hilarious. It made me think back to the first rumblings I heard about something called THE WORLD WIDE WEB. I kept picturing tarantulas and spider webs whenever I heard it. Anyways, I thought some of you might enjoy Paul’s blog and in particular this post.


Do you remember what your first web site looked like? Even better, do you remember what you looked like? This is me in 91 or 92. I had a fashion philosophy – red lipstick and shoulder pads and I was good to go 🙂

(by Linda Campbell)

Customers Are Partners Too: QNX to participate the 2010 Niagara Summit

April 20, 2010

Tridium, a long standing QNX customer, is a leader in automation and infrastructure technology, energy and management and device-to-enterprise or -connected- integration solutions. We’re proud to be participating in their upcoming and biannual event called the Niagara Summit. As a part of our shared vision for the future of smart energy and industrial infrastructure, we’ll be demonstrating the best of QNX ‘connected devices’ using our QNX and NG Connected CAR as a reference platform for wireless connected devices.

We’re actively pursuing opportunities to repurpose the leading platform for intelligent connected devices in the automobile, into other vertical markets such as industrial automation, medical and other smart devices. We’re especially eager to begin collaborating with the growing ecosystem of Niagara development partners on the many new design opportunities this platform provides. See you at the show!

Built-in – or is it beamed-in?

April 20, 2010

I posted a while back about the different categories of partners we are working with for QNX CAR. I thought I’d follow up with some concrete examples for each category starting with built-in. It’s funny because when I started writing this I thought that built-in would be the most clearly defined of the classes and I have since come to the conclusion that it is the least so.

Built-in or native apps live on the head unit. These are the most familiar type of apps and we’ve seen self-contained navigation systems complete with map data, rendering engines and text-to-speech for a number of years now. Flash apps like games running in the QNX CAR environment are another example. As I started to think more about the nature of the integrations we are working on I realized that almost none of them fit into this fully self-contained group.

Many of the integrations we are seeing involve apps that are built-in to the head unit but rely on an external connection to retrieve cloud based content. This is content that is “beamed-in” but rendered and managed by software on the head unit. Examples include Pandora Internet radio where the music is coming from Pandora servers (which I still can’t get in Canada) or TCS where the map data and points of interest are downloaded into the head unit and rendered by the onboard app.

The line becomes more blurred with the partners who currently offer Flash apps that run on mobile phones (the domain of the brought-in) that are porting their apps to QNX CAR. These flash apps will run on the head unit but again will beam-in content. Companies we are working with on this include Stitcher and BlogRadio.

I suppose I could have used the Ford Sync notion of pretty much nothing is built-in and as soon as content is downloaded it is beamed-in but that doesn’t leave anywhere to put the really cool beamed-in stuff.

QNX CAR on its way to ESC

April 9, 2010

If you haven’t already heard, QNX and Alcatel Lucent have built a car of the future based on a Toyota Prius. The basic premise is that someday soon a 4G network will enable an always on broadband pipe to the car. If you think of the car as a citizen of the cloud you will start to understand how powerful this notion will be. Think streaming high def video, Google street view, up to date traffic information, the nearest Star Bucks and directions on how to get there. The possibilities are mind boggling.

The Prius will be in the QNX booth at ESC April 27-29. Drop by for spin.

QNX CAR wins an award – sort of…

April 9, 2010

Last night I was at a dinner where QNX and Alcatel Lucent won an award for our strategic partnership. If you’ve  perused  Tertiary Matters you will have seen that we’ve been working closely with Alcatel Lucent in the ng Connect program (www.ngconnect.org). In fact, our work with Alcatel Lucent drove the creation of the Toyota Prius dream car that grabs so much attention everywhere it goes.

When we won, somebody from QNX said nice things about Alcatel Lucent and somebody from Alcatel Lucent said nice things about QNX. I’m here to say nice things about  everyone who contributes to QNX CAR.

It was the existence of QNX CAR that brought the two companies together. OK, QNX leadership in automotive didn’t hurt but Alcatel Lucent quickly saw that the connected nature of QNX CAR platform was exactly what they needed to prove out the art-of-the-possible in a 4G world.

If the participants in QNX CAR hadn’t all worked together to make it a reality, we would not likely have had such a deep and successful partnership with Alcatel Lucent and we would not have won the award.

QNX Multi-core support for ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore

April 6, 2010

QNX continues to be uniquely positioned to support multi-core processors. After all, we have been at it for over a decade. Maybe not on actual multi-core processors but on discrete implementations where multiple processors are managed by an SMP capable system controller. We started doing this for Cisco back in the days of the Motorola 744x processors with the Marvell Discovery system controllers. Along the way we picked up support for multi-core MIPs, Power Architecture, SH4 and x86.

One of the big advantages QNX provides the developer working with a multi-core processor is our tools.  QNX Momentics was built from the ground up with multi-processing in mind. We offer a number of advanced profiling tools that provide a level of insight into system behaviour unmatched by any other OS vendor. Combine that with years of hardening our SMP kernel and you have a pretty darn compelling solution.

Recently we started working with a leading silicon vendor to develop support for a new SoC based on the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore. What does this mean? It means that we can now add ARM to the list of multi-core architectures that QNX supports.

Diamond Systems QNX KIT, Try QNX for 30 days

April 2, 2010

Not all board vendors build alike. Some are very self sufficient, some are quite dependent and have a hard time orienting to a real time os when what they are used to is linux or windows. Fortunately we are developing a core group of QNX experienced board vendors who are available to help customers with a variety of embedded modules. One such vendor Is Diamond Systems.

Diamond Systems recently launched a number of new products including support for QNX Neutrino OS. For more information on their wide variety of Computer On Modules, Single Board Computers and PC-104’s please visit http://www.diamondsystems.com/.

They make it easy to figure out what products support QNX with product sheets on their website, QNX bsps ready to go with their evaluation modules and this nifty postcard included in the box of each module that shows you how to get started with a free 30 day evaluation of our tools:

Look for this card in other silicon vendor products in the near future including a variety of Freescale Power PC and I.MX product lines.