Ever since we announced QNX Fastboot for Intel Architecture I repeatedly get asked about how we make this work with the BIOS. Are we customizing the BIOS? Are we putting secret code before the BIOS and then bringing up the BIOS in a special way? Well there are two ways to clarify this:
1. THERE IS NO BIOS!
2. With QNX, you are now able to recieve a custom BIOS as a part of the Neutrino package.
Effectively, through our license agreement for the Z500 processor family (commonly known as the Atom), QNX has become a BIOS vendor. Albeit, we provide a dramatically customized (reduced) start up library that is device and application specific in line with our deeply embedded, high reliability focus.
As a part of this, customers now have the option to engage the QNX services team to write their own custom start up (again, think BIOS) for their Intel Architecture devices. (Currently we’re only licensed to do this for the Z500 series processors, however we’re eager to start discussing new processors). This approach has the benefits of custom performance optimizations, i.e. it boots fast and can faciliate fast connectivity for things like CAN, Profinet, EtherCAT etc., and eliminates the BIOS from the BOM cost, the more units you ship the more you save.
So if you are thinking about the Intel Architecture for your next industrial or medical design but are frustrated with your current BIOS, please drop us a line to explore how we might resolve this.
You can test out our Fastboot IPL on the Kontron nanoETXexpress-SP module. Please download it here: http://community.qnx.com/sf/wiki/do/viewPage/projects.bsp/wiki/Bspdown_kontronnanosp