Our Virtual Approach to Virtualization…

February 24, 2010

Partners are an important part of our entry into supporting virtualization and hyper-visor technologies.

The recently released RTS Hypervisor 2.2 enables customers to run the QNX Neutrino RTOS on the same hardware as Windows, Linux, and other operating systems. This hardware consolidation not only reduces power consumption, but also reduces system costs by eliminating the need for additional processors.

We’ll be demonstrating the RTS Hypervisor on an Advantech system on module, SOM-6760, at Embedded World in Germany next week. Come check us out in Hall 11.

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QNX pushes the envelop(e) with IBV’s QWin Virtualization Support

February 24, 2010

Ok, I kind of stole this funny but apt headline from my colleague Paul Leroux. For the orginal blog go here: http://onqpl.blogspot.com/

I’d like to highlight that QNX ISV partners are making news with increased support of virtualization and hypervisor technology. Check out this press release about our joint win at Siemens. http://www.qnx.com/news/pr_4004_1.html


More Modules, More Modules, and yes, More modules

August 26, 2009

In a recent EDM campaign for ruggedized modules and extended temperature solutions, Advantech posted a QNX Neutrino OS/Compatibility Support list where they list more than 40 modules with QNX Neutrino support.

Please check it out: http://www.advantech.com.tw/promotion/edm/RuggedizedSolution/index.htm


Power Architecture and the Industrial Market

April 30, 2009

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.

 

Romain


QNX BIOS for Intel Architecture

April 20, 2009

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

Kroy Zeviar


Genivi and automotive platforms

March 24, 2009

 

At Cebit, QNX, Microsoft and Genivi all revealed their visions for a common automotive reference platform that would cut costs, accelerate time to market, reduce costs and just make the world a better place. I won’t take the time to review each offering in detail as there has already been a fair bit of coverage from the media.   

 

 

In these articles, one thing struck me as particularly interesting. People are now identifying software as the single most important element in automotive systems going forward. I agree wholeheartedly. I spend a lot of my time lining up third party software vendors to meet the myriad requirements demanded by OEMs for upcoming model years.  It is no trivial task. Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, points of interest, remote update, internet radio, multi-media, device connectivity, speech recognition – the list goes on and on. Thankfully there are software companies that specialize in each of these areas.

 

The notion of a common automotive reference platform comes up a lot these days, even more so since the economy tanked and everyone has to do more with less. Ideally the vendors serving each of these very different areas would work cooperatively to shoulder the burden of integration and testing – a consortium of like minded industry players coming together to build something that could be used by all. A truly open, standards-based organization where the ultimate output would allow the automotive industry to choose exactly what functionality, features and vendors it wanted to work with. That’s very powerful stuff.

 

Genivi is a consortium that is being driven by a handful of automotive Tier ones and a couple of OEMs but only one silicon vendor and one software vendor. There is only one software vendor in the consortium today. My understanding of automotive requirements suggests that even a huge software giant couldn’t possibly hope to address everything needed, even if they had the next 50 years to get it done. I guess that’s where this community they talk about will have to help a lot.

 

I’m not suggesting that QNX CAR is the perfect solution either but at least it does encompass a rapidly growing number of software vendors and offers support for all the major automotive silicon choices out there today.  It is not a standard, per se, although the underlying operating system is POSIX compliant and brings the benefit of providing a standard API. It is open to pretty much everyone and its goal is to provide a set of pre-integrated, auto hardened technologies under a business model that promotes its use for prototyping and product development.

 

Now to be fair, I don’t actually know a lot about the details of how Genivi plans to roll out their platform. I’m not invited.

 

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