QNX Platform Accelerates Digital Instrument Cluster Development
June 23, 2016 by John Day
QNX Software Systems Limited, a subsidiary of BlackBerry Limited (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY), announced the latest addition to its portfolio of automotive safety products, the QNX® Platform for Instrument Clusters.
Digital instrument clusters constitute one of the fastest-growing segments in automotive electronics. Using sophisticated 2D and 3D graphics, these devices can display traditional instrument cluster information, such as speed and RPM, as well as rich, context-sensitive information supplied by other vehicle subsystems, including turn-by-turn directions, local speed limits, rearview camera video and collision warnings. According to Strategy Analytics, the combined demand for hybrid and fully digital instrument clusters will increase from 8.7 million units in 2015 to 42.2 million by 2023.
With deployments in over 60 million cars, QNX has become the leading software supplier for vehicle infotainment systems. Since 2009, QNX technology has also been powering digital instrument clusters in vehicle brands such as Alfa Romeo, Audi, Corvette, Jaguar and Range Rover. The QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters builds on this expertise to help customers create cluster solutions that offer a superior user experience while satisfying stringent safety requirements.
With the new platform, QNX now offers a comprehensive solution for instrument cluster developers, which includes:
- The QNX OS for Safety, an ISO 26262-certified OS and toolchain that supports all of the automotive safety integrity levels, from ASIL A to ASIL D, required for clusters and other critical vehicle systems
- A 2D/3D graphics framework that is based on OpenGL and is set to be certified for use in clusters that comply with the ISO 26262 functional safety standard
- A software framework that protects safety-critical cluster functions from interference by other software components, enabling greater reliability and easier system-level certification
- A reference implementation, with source code, that gives developers a jumpstart on building fully digital instrument clusters
To pre-qualify the platform’s graphics framework to the ISO 26262 standard, QNX Software Systems is working closely with TÜV Rheinland, a world leader in functional safety assessments.
“We are seeing growing interest in ISO 26262, which has emerged worldwide as a leading standard for automotive functional safety, especially in the software domain,” said Heinz Gall, Head of the Functional Safety & Security Business Unit of TÜV Rheinland. “As a world leader in functional safety assessment, we support automotive companies to help them develop a safety culture and adopt best-in-class safety practices. The QNX Neutrino OS was the first realtime OS we assessed to ISO 26262 ASIL D as a Safety Element out of Context, and we will extend our collaboration with QNX Software Systems into the new domain of graphics software for instrument clusters.”
“QNX OS technology and i.MX applications processors from NXP® offer a production-proven combination for digital instrument clusters. We are excited to support the QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters with our i.MX 6 series and future i.MX 8 series hardware platforms,” said Ron Martino, Vice President, i.MX Applications Processors and Advanced Technology Adoption, NXP Semiconductors. “Together, our offerings can address the safety-critical requirements of digital clusters, while offering bleeding-edge 3D and 2D graphics that enable unique driving experiences.”
To further accelerate development, the QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters will support application design tools from members of the QNX automotive ecosystem, such as Crank Software’s Storyboard Suite, DiSTI Corporation’s GL Studio, Elektrobit’s EB GUIDE, and Rightware’s Kanzi® UI software. This rich selection of tools will enable customers to choose the UI technologies and design approaches that best address their project requirements.
“QNX has become an automotive leader by offering comprehensive, one-stop solutions that allow customers to focus on differentiation and time-to-market, rather than on low-level integration efforts,” said John Wall, Senior Vice President and Head of QNX Software Systems. “The new QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters brings this proven approach to the digital cluster market, enabling faster development and helping customers reduce the effort and risk of qualifying their end-products to safety standards such as ISO 26262.”
The QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters is scheduled to be available to select customers under an early access program, starting in August 2016.