Blackberry QNX software platform aids car makers

  • May 30, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Blackberry has announced the early access release of QNX’s SDP 8.0 software development platform to help car makers and IoT developers deliver more powerful products at lower costs.

Powered by its latest QNX operating system (OS), SDP 8.0 is designed to realise the performance potential of the increasing number of multi-core processors that automakers and IoT systems developers are selecting for their products.

It is said to be the result of intense R&D work using Blackberry QNX’s IP and experience in high-performance edge computing.

The Posix compliant, real-time microkernel-based OS has shown a one-to-one performance scaling factor as the number of cores increases, unprecedented for a commercial real time operating system. With the OS, users can fully realise the performance of processors and reduce their overall costs by increasing use of the available compute resources, a boon for the likes of automakers whose shift towards software-defined vehicles has increased the amount of software-based architecture complexity.

SDP 8.0 lays the foundation for future Blackberry QNX products, including OS for safety, hypervisor and hypervisor for safety.

“The automotive industry is redefining software in the vehicle,” said John Wall, senior vice president at Blackberry QNX. “Automotive architectures are transitioning to zonal, central compute and ultimately software-defined vehicles. The top-to-bottom scalability inherent to SDP 8.0, the QNX OS for safety and the QNX hypervisor makes this a natural choice for automakers looking for a total car OS.”

BlackbBerry is working with Nvidia to integrate the QNX OS microkernel on its Drive Thor, which delivers 2000Tflops of performance and consolidates automated driving with AI cockpit on a single centralised platform.

“The combination of our Drive Thor centralised computer and the new QNX OS will serve as a powerful foundation on which OEMs can build next-generation automotive systems that offer the highest levels of safety and security,” said Ali Kani, vice president of automotive at Nvidia. “This represents another major milestone in a nearly 20-year collaboration with Blackberry QNX that has helped both companies move to the forefront of the automotive industry.”

Alex Oyler, director at SBD Automotive, an automotive technology research and consulting firm, added: “With more than 300 million vehicles capable of over-the-air software updates expected to be on the road globally by 2032, automakers are clamouring for better tools to help them develop compelling technology features in the software-defined vehicle. A secured-by-design operating system that seamlessly integrates with other software components on a high-performance system-on-chip represents the foundation of a safe, secure and seamless experience for drivers. Both automakers and suppliers rely on validated software and well-integrated development tools to help them more efficiently build and maintain differentiating software for their fleets.”

The early access release of SDP 8.0 is available now for evaluation and product development. General availability is scheduled for later in 2023.