CES 2024: BlackBerry announces foundation for next-gen automotive, IoT systems

QNX SDP 8.0 operating platform to feature fifth-generation architecture with safe and secure microkernel, advanced tooling and cloud enablement in what is claimed to be future-proof mission-critical embedded system design

In the latest part of its evolution from pioneering mobile business data services, BlackBerry has announced general availability of its QNX Software Development Platform (SDP) 8.0, which, when combined with the associated QNX OS 8.0, is designed to deliver a scalable, high-performance, real-time operating system for the current embedded computing industry, offering particular support for next-generation automotive and internet of things (IoT) systems.

The fifth-generation QNX SDP 8.0 architecture builds on previous development and a field-proven, safe and secure platform, while maintaining its POSIX application programming interface to provide a productive environment for both QNX and Linux developers. QNX SDP 8.0 adds support for ARM v9 and GCC 12, and is said to deliver near-linear performance scaling with central processing unit (CPU) core counts, a move the company said is designed to enable developers to fully realise the power and opportunities of increasingly advanced processors for generations to come. 

The platform also extends the QNX Tool Suite with support for Microsoft Visual Studio Code to complement the Eclipse-based Momentics Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and new command line tools including over 200 Unix utilities.

Furthermore, it provides cloud-enabled OS support for development, and QNX OS 8.0, with its advanced microkernel architecture, is designed to support emerging CPU architectures such as RISC-V.

“QNX SDP 8.0 provides the trusted foundation upon which our customers can truly future-proof their products for many years to come,” said John Wall, senior vice-president and head of QNX at BlackBerry. “It fundamentally enables embedded software design to support safe, secure and reliable systems in a way that fully harnesses the benefits of CPU advancements way into the future.”

“As a premium smart mobility technology brand, we’re keen to align with the very best development technologies that will future-proof our investment in world-class design, engineering and innovation,” said Jun Tao, software senior director at Zeekr Intelligent Technology.

“Our early access experience with QNX SDP 8.0 has been incredibly positive, enabling us to integrate all areas of development within a single high-performance compute environment that sets our vehicle software advancements up for success, today and into the future.”

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In another extension of the QNX platform for automotive applications, BlackBerry also unveiled QNX Sound, what it said is an innovation platform for software-defined vehicles unlocking new revenue opportunities for automakers.

The platform decouples audio and acoustics software from the vehicle hardware to give audio designers and engineers the ability to deliver in-vehicle sound experiences in the main software stack of the software-defined vehicle architecture, using pre-integrated and pre-tested core technologies.

It also includes a library of automotive acoustics functional modules for telephony, safety alerting, noise reduction, sound enhancement and media playback. The software foundation not only provides more control over the quality and functionality of these services, but it also includes advanced tuning tools with a graphical programming interface that unlocks endless signal processing creativity.

Blackberry said this offers for the first time an entirely software-driven foundation for automakers to explore new audio-based services and collaborations with technology companies and multimedia content providers to bring new, value-added features into the vehicle.

“In the software-defined vehicle age, audio becomes a new playing field for innovation and differentiation,” said Wall. “QNX Sound is the ultimate digital audio platform for the automotive industry and the most comprehensive foundation available for innovation. Through it, we enable automakers to explore new business opportunities and exciting collaborations that will truly appeal to and excite the end user.”

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