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What Is Blackberry QNX?

Brent Dunn
by Brent Dunn
March 24, 2014

Blackberry QNX is Unix-like real-time operating system capable of running on a wide variety of small computers and embedded systems. QNX uses a microkernel, which means that the kernel or most basic part of the operating system only contains the minimum parts needed to run, while all other tasks are kept separate. This reduces the chance of a problem with one part of the system being able to bring the whole system to a halt. It also means that unnecessary parts of the system can be easily stripped out, reducing the system's overall footprint and complexity. QNX was first released in 1982 and has been updated regularly ever since. Today QNX is used in Internet routers, air traffic control, smartphones (Blackberry 10 is based on QNX), and in-car infotainment.

QNX is easily customizable with custom graphics, controls, and layouts and has been used in the infotainment units of numerous different makes and models of automobile. Ford cars currently use the Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive operating system, however rumors suggest that Ford may be switching to QNX in the future. There have been some reports of problems with the current Microsoft-based Ford system, including system freezing requiring a reboot, while other users find the system cumbersome to use. Ford might find QNX easier to customize to their taste, and it may also be cheaper for them to license.


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