QNX beefs up its RTOS for automotive safety - Embedded.com

QNX beefs up its RTOS for automotive safety

At the Telematics Detroit Conference this week, QNX Software Systems  rolled out its newest RTOS, the QNX OS for Automotive Safety 1.0.

According to Grant Courville, director, product management, QNX Software Systems, the new OS addresses the growing demand for digital instrument clusters, heads-up displays, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and other in-car applications with functional safety requirements.

He said the new RTOS is set to be certified for use in systems that comply with ISO 26262, up to Automotive Safety Integrity Level D — the highest level achievable. Certification to this functional safety standard provides independent validation that a product offers a very high level of reliability and risk reduction when used in electrical, electronic, and software-based systems in passenger vehicles.

He said digital instrument clusters and ADAS systems will become pervasive only if automotive companies can produce them economically and that requires reducing development and certification costs of such systems by allowing safety-critical functions (e.g. engine malfunction warnings) to run on the same hardware module as non-safety critical functions (e.g. RPM).

To enable this consolidation, the company's automotive optimized RTOS, he said, provides fine-grained process isolation and memory protection, enabling safety-critical components to enjoy freedom of interference from other components. It also supports QNX adaptive time partitioning, that prevents safety-critical components from being starved of CPU cycles by other components.

Demand for ISO 26262 certification is ramping up, ” said Courville, “more cars come equipped with digital instrument clusters and with ADAS systems that provide lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and other safety-related functions.

“This demand will only grow as such systems develop the sophistication necessary to enable autonomous driving. Moreover, boundaries are blurring: infotainment systems are also starting to integrate ADAS functions, creating demand for platforms that can support both safety-critical and non safety-critical functions.”

To date, the company’s products and processes have achieved certification to IEC 61508 SIL 3 (functional safety), Common Criteria EAL 4+ (security), POSIX PSE52 Realtime Controller profile (portability and determinism), and ISO 9001:2008 (management system), as well as compliance with IEC 62304 (medical device software). Certification of the QNX OS for Automotive Safety 1.0 will encompass validation of QNX toolchain components, enabling them to be used in 26262 projects.

The QNX OS for Automotive Safety 1.0 is scheduled for release in Q3 2014.

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