QNX 7 port targets mission-critical 64bit applications

April 07, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
QNX 7 port targets mission-critical 64bit applications
Direct Insight has ported the QNX 7 operating system to the Ka-Ro TX8 and QS8 system-on-module boards with NXP i.MX8m processor for mission critical 64bit designs

UK system integrator Direct Insight has created a QNX 7 Board Support Package (BSP) for Ka-Ro TX8 and QS8 modules. This enables industrial designers to use the 64bit NXP i.MX8m processor with real-time capability and mission-critical reliability. 

QNX was developed as a real time operating system (RTOS) and was acquired by mobile phone maker BlackBerry in 2010. The microkernel-based OS is popular in automotive designs and ADAS systems. 

Ka-Ro’s TX8 and QS8 modules are based on NXP’s i.MX8M Mini processor with quad ARM Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 1.6GHz. The i.MX8 is very cost-effective and offers comprehensive graphics capabilities. Ka-Ro modules include up to 2GB of DDR3L RAM and a 4GB eMMC in either a 27mm square solder-down or a 200-pin SODIMM standard pin-out system-on-module. Ka-Ro modules have a typical operational life of over 12 years.

The BSP has been created by Direct Insight to provide a starting point for industrial designs. It contains all the basic features required to run the OS on the board. Included are drivers for various interfaces including Ethernet, Watchdog timer, I2C, SPI, USB, SD Card, UART. A display driver is available as an optional item. It is free to download as a binary which demonstrates a functioning system, and the source code can be licensed on a per-project basis. Direct Insight also offers enhancements to the BSP, including additional drivers and production-hardening and testing, as an additional services engagement.

“Using an off-the-shelf module to which QNX is already ported, and which is tried and tested with the OS, reduces project development time and cost and makes it easier to use a high performance 64-bit ARM processor. QNX is ideal for safety-critical projects and is also available in safety-certified versions, making it a perfect match for the high-quality Ka-Ro modules in demanding industrial applications,” said David Pashley, managing director of Direct Insight.

Direct Insight also offers a TRITON-TX8M development kit, with 10in touch screen.

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