QNX CAR and the Freescale i.MX51

March 17, 2010

On March 15th the latest experimental i.MX51 BSP was posted on Foundry27. If you are interested you can grab it here http://community.qnx.com/sf/wiki/do/viewPage/projects.bsp/wiki/FreescaleImx51Pdk.

A BSP in itself may not be newsworthy (or worth blogging about) but the i.MX51 is a bit special in that it will be the newest platform for QNX CAR. The i.MX51 is a particularly nice fit for QNX CAR for a few reasons. First and foremost this is a part that is garnering a lot of customer interest in automotive. Customers have been pushing us to get this BSP out the door.

Another nice thing about the i.MX51 is the graphics acceleration. The i.MX35 is a great platform for QNX CAR because it includes OpenVG acceleration. Adobe Flash takes advantage of this acceleration and the QNX Aviage HMI Suite used in QNX CAR is Adobe Flash based. The i.MX51 builds on this by adding OpenGL ES acceleration so customers will be able to accelerate 3D graphics as well (think navigation). Add hardware video decode and you have a very nice part for next generation infotainment systems.

Watch for it in the M6 QNX CAR build – coming soon.


What’s faster – A QNX CAR or a Genivi?

August 24, 2009

I’m a little overdue in writing this but at a recent tradeshow we booked a meeting room. We had a parade of automotive Tier one suppliers, OEMs and partners come through the meeting room to see the latest on the QNX CAR reference platform.

What was different this time is while we were showing the latest integrations (Pandora, Chumby etc), we were also demoing the first Tier one implementation based on QNX CAR. The Tier one, who would prefer to remain nameless, allowed us to show off their fully featured mid-level infotainment unit prototype. They took QNX CAR, added their preferred navigation and speech recognition technology and customized the HMI. It was a very slick unit.

What’s the big deal you might ask. Tier ones develop prototype systems all the time?

This Tier one went from a standing start to a fully functional prototype in under four months. That’s what got everyone excited at the show. That’s what you can do with QNX CAR.

I wonder how long it would take if you tried to do this with Genivi?

Romain


QNX CAR – the start of something big

March 2, 2009

When I got back from CES earlier this year I mentioned that one of my goals at the show was to share the QNX CAR vision. I saw a lot of nodding heads when I described a model where QNX and select members of its ecosystem could work together to pre-integrate our respective technologies. I saw a lot of eyes light up when I described an engagement model where automotive Tier oness and OEMs could leverage this pre-integration to get started on their designs.

 

On the 24th of February, QNX formally launched the QNX CAR program. If you visit the new page (www.qnxcar.com) you can get lots more information on the program, how it works and what’s available for round one. You will also see an image of a bunch of lego blocks and a slick sports car. This graphic really distills the essence of the QNX CAR program.

 

Historically software and silicon vendors selling into automotive have worked loosely together and have left the task of integration to the Tier one. We have all been guilty of selling a bunch of lego that can be fit together somehow but have never provided the instructions on how to build the final product. QNX CAR changes that in several ways.

 

By working together to pre-integrate technology into the QNX CAR environment, QNX and its ecosystem are jumpstarting our collective customers’ designs. They can now bypass the initial integration work and focus on higher level, value added development. We are finally providing the instructions on how the lego fits together.

 

This alone would be pretty cool but we have also been working with our partners to sort out the initial licensing. Under QNX CAR, evaluation of 3rd party technology no longer involves working with every company involved. Customers can engage directly with QNX to get their hands on all the bits and pieces involved. It’s simple, straight forward and easy. 

 

Add to this that the program is available at no charge and that QNX silicon partners are throwing hardware into the mix. For the first time ever, developers can get started on their prototyping just by being accepted to the program. That’s it. That’s all.

 

All this brings me to the point I raised in the title. This is just the beginning. On March 12th the QNX CAR Foundry27 project will go live and participants will be able to access the first wave of third party technology along with QNX middleware.

 

You can be sure that this is only the start. We’ve been working with a longer list of partners around all sorts of technology. Check out the Foundry27 project on the 12th but come back soon. You’ll see a growing list of technologies spanning 2D/3D nav, city view, remote over the air software updates, points of interest and more. Exciting times…

 

Romain


Intel, BMW and QNX?

February 17, 2009

intel-car-21Intel asked me for a QNX logo to put on the outside of a car so I asked them for a picture of said car. This is a BMW with a Harman Becker infotainment system based on an Intel Atom hardware platform running QNX and our latest Aviage HMI and multimedia suite.

Obviously this car and the fact that QNX is in it, is not a secret. The irony for me is that two of the parties involved in this demo, Intel and BMW, supported a Wind River press release last May all about the next generation IVI stack they were developing on Linux. Its well over six months later and as far as I can tell, no one’s driving Linux around in a BMW.

QNX continues to push forward with products that are shipping today, way ahead of our competition. We really do put the show on the road.

by Linda Campbell


TI DM355: How the ARM architecture goes mainstream…

February 2, 2009

The above video is some of our earlier development work on Texas Instrument’s DM355. This part is finding a home in a variety of consumer and industrial appliance devices. With low power, strong graphics and low cost it is a great example of silicon that is driving the future of the connected embedded universe.

I originally wanted to title this blog: “Rise of the Clones: The long march of a new silicon generation”. Of course being the philosopher on the QNX team I tend to see things in dramatic terms. The challenge with this (and much to the chagrin of my manager)  is that sometimes things are a lot simpler than we (I) make them out to be.  So setting aside the philosophical debate about whether the clones belong to the Imperial Alliance or the Republic, I thought I’d take note of the growing importance of the ARM architecture to QNX customers, particularly in the broad industrial automation and general embedded markets.

We’ve seen a strong uptick in the demand for the ARM architecture from our customers. At first it was at the high end of performance combined with low power consumption and was driven mostly by premium consumer and automotive products. However increasingly we’re seeing strong interest in a wide range of performance, power and IO appealing to a broad range of the industrial automation and other general embedded markets we serve.

Wondering whether this was isolated or trending I sought out sage advice on the future of the ARM architecture. Enter Colin Barnden, Principal Analyst of Semicast Research. In his most recent Industrial & Medical Sector report Colin is tracking dramatic growth rates for ARM parts at up to 30% Year over year. With rates like that, is it possible that ARM market share could eclipse even the likes of that other  thriving Alliance…er…Republic?

Regardless of who wins this battle for silicon market share, we’ll be tracking these architectures closely and letting you know about what our customers find valuable from each.

By Kroy Zeviar