Instrument clusters and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems are becoming more complex, connected and software-defined, incorporating far greater functionality than ever before.
To differentiate their vehicles by delivering state-of-the-art driver experiences, automakers often seek long-term partnerships with suppliers that offer a growth-path for sustained innovation over time. That’s why a collaborative relationship has extended for more than a decade between BlackBerry QNX and e.solutions, the company that creates first-in-class instrument clusters and IVI systems for Audi and other brands in the Volkswagen Group.
Established in 2009 as a joint venture by Audi and Elektrobit Automotive GmbH, e.solutions was created to address the growing demand for more sophisticated digital cockpits, instrument clusters and infotainment systems. When deciding on a real-time operating system (RTOS) vendor 10 years ago, e.solutions was looking for a best-of-breed product that could merge real-time performance, security, POSIX-compliance, rich graphics and multimedia capabilities, with reliable support over the 10-to 20-year lifespan of a vehicle.
The selection of BlackBerry QNX turned out to be the right choice for e.solutions, and developed into an ongoing collaboration of architectural reviews, security consulting, application hardening, integration of third-party software, and performance optimizations for silicon-specific components.
While the availability of support was not the only reason e.solutions chose BlackBerry QNX, it turned out to be one of the best.
“e.solutions and BlackBerry QNX have a long and proven relationship with millions of systems in the field,” says Rainer Lange, managing director at e.solutions. “BlackBerry QNX field support has helped on many occasions by solving extremely tricky hardware and software problems. BlackBerry QNX product documentation, knowledge base, managed product lifecycle and board support packages for systems-on-a-chip are additional benefits of BlackBerry QNX support.”
In the years since e.solutions selected BlackBerry QNX, the number of RTOS platforms available in the marketplace has grown. Some platforms are commercial, and some are open source, but e.solutions found it worthwhile to stick with BlackBerry® QNX® solutions, and maintains the same level of trust in BlackBerry QNX services.
“Working with BlackBerry QNX enables e.solutions to get products to market faster with fewer people,” says Somasundaram Alagappan, regional sales manager, BlackBerry QNX. “Developing and debugging is easier with the BlackBerry QNX microkernel architecture, because developers never enter kernel space.”
The QNX® Software Development Platform provides a POSIX-compliant, Linux-like platform that uses the industry-standard Eclipse development environment, GNU compiler collection (GCC) and standard APIs. Key characteristics of BlackBerry QNX software make it ideal for cockpit domain applications. The flexible and scalable microkernel architecture of the QNX® Neutrino® RTOS allows e.solutions to deliver the rich graphics and multimedia capabilities the company is known for. “The real-time performance and kernel quality of the QNX Neutrino RTOS are assets in our systems,” adds Lange.
The BlackBerry QNX professional services team provided both onsite and offsite support to meet e.solutions project deadlines, and surpassed expectations by finding innovative ways of resolving issues at a component and system-level, to maximize performance and reliability.
In addition to development and integration consultations, BlackBerry services also include security services such as CVE analysis for software packages, using BlackBerry® Jarvis®.
BlackBerry QNX and BlackBerry QNX Professional Services
Development teams can extend their effective reach by utilizing BlackBerry QNX and BlackBerry® QNX® Professional Services to help bring safe, secure and reliable products to market, on time and on budget. With a proven track record of successful global services – ranging from driver software, Board Support Packages (BSP), system debugging, and profiling and optimization, to human machine interface (HMI), and cloud development for embedded systems across industries – BlackBerry QNX Professional Services has flexible engagement models and a 100% success rate in safety certifications.