Thales and QNX unveil realtime secure partitioning on PENTXM2 and PENTXM4

QNX realtime secure partitioning OS available on Thales dual and quad core VMEbus server blades

June 18, 2007 – Paris, France — Thales and QNX Software Systems today will demonstrate at the Paris Air Show 2007 an innovative hardware and software computing solution which meets the computing performance and the application software security level required in military and aerospace applications.

Thales computers activity is a leading provider of VMEbus and CompactPCI single-board computer (SBC) products and systems, and QNX Software Systems is the industry leader in multi-core processing for embedded systems. The demonstration shows how developers can deploy the QNX® Neutrino® OS partitioning solution for multi-core systems on the Thales PENTXM2 and PENTXM4 single and twin Dual Core Intel Xeon processor VME server blades for embedded applications.

Thales’ PENTXM2 and PENTXM4 server blades both use the 1.67 GHz dual-core Xeon processor, Intel’s most advanced low-power x86 technology, combined with the Intel E7520 server class memory controller hub (MCH). Both the single dual-core processor PENTXM2 and the twin dual-core PENTXM4 are available with 2GB of DDR2-400 SDRAM. When paired with the support of VITA 31.1 backplane networking, the VITA 38 intelligent platform management interface (IPMI) on the PENTXM4 and PENTXM2 offers easy scaling into a multiprocessing system. Both the PENTXM2 and PENTXM4 provide a dual SATA-150 interface, a triple USB 2.0 port, and an EIDE interface for an on-board disk. Embedded applications will also take benefit of the on-board 4GB flash disk drive, directly fitted on the board. The PENTXM2 is available as a stand-alone board component or pre-integrated in large systems (PowerMP6) with full data transport and management software based on standards such as MPI, POSIX and HTTP.

QNX Secure Partitioning for Multi-Core Processors allows embedded developers to apply secure partitions in their multi-core designs. This technology guarantees realtime response times and contains security threats, while simultaneously maximizing performance. When combined with QNX multiprocessing solutions, secure partitions can be implemented in a variety of configurations for a multi-core design. For instance, by using the Bound Multiprocessing (BMP) option for the QNX Neutrino RTOS, designers can “bind” selected applications to a specified set of CPU cores, creating a true hardware and software partitioning capability. QNX Neutrino offers other inherent security benefits, such as isolating drivers, protocol stacks, and applications in separate, memory-protected virtual address spaces. As a result, malicious or poorly written software cannot corrupt, disrupt, or spy on other processes.

“The availability of the QNX Neutrino secure partitioning realtime operating system for the multi-core PENTXM2 and PENTXM4 embedded server blades provides a leading combination for avionics, sea, and land-based embedded applications,” said Robert Negre, CTO of Thales’ computer activities and Building Blocks Manager of the Thales’ ComputerCenter of Excellence. “The inherent security benefits of the real-time QNX Neutrino RTOS associated with the processing density of the Thales’ PENTXM2 and PENTXM4 create the true hardware and software partitioning capability required by extensive symmetrical processing applications such as the ones used in medical, telecommunication and defence electronics markets.”

“Competing partitioning schemes of today are limited to uniprocessor designs, forcing developers who wish to protect their multi-core systems to partition each core separately. This is usually done by proliferating multiple copies of the OS — one on each core in a multi-core processor,” said Kerry Johnson, senior product manager at QNX Software Systems. “With the QNX Secure Partitioning solution running on the Thales PENTXM2 or PENTXM4, system designers have the flexibility to have partitions that span more than one CPU core. In addition, developers can lock down a set of applications in partitions that optimize CPU utilization adaptive techniques. This approach is far more efficient than traditional partitioning solutions, which waste CPU cycles through their rigid and fixed resource allocations.”

About Thales
Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, serving defence, aerospace, security and services markets worldwide. The Thales Group employs 70,000 people throughout the world and generated revenues of € 10.3 billion in 2006.

Thales computers activities include development of commercial and ruggedized VMEbus & CompactPCI multiprocessing solutions based on PowerPC and Pentium microprocessors. Thales’ products are optimized for a wide variety of applications in the military, aerospace, transportation, communications, and industrial markets and are used by customers worldwide, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Bombardier, Toshiba, British Aerospace, Ericsson, Alcatel, MBDA, Finmeccanica, Thales Group, and others. For more information please visit our web site at

About QNX Software Systems
QNX Software Systems, a Harman International company (NYSE: HAR), is the industry leader in realtime, embedded OS technology. The component-based architectures of the QNX® Neutrino® RTOS and QNX Momentics® development suite together provide the industry’s most reliable and scalable framework for building innovative, high-performance embedded systems. Global leaders such as Cisco, DaimlerChrysler, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, and Siemens depend on QNX technology for network routers, medical instruments, vehicle telematics units, security and defense systems, industrial robotics, and other mission- or life-critical applications. Founded in 1980, QNX Software Systems is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, and distributes products in over 100 countries worldwide.


Nadine Sueur
Thales Computers
Tel:+ 33 (0)4 98 16 34 00

Edward Cooper
HSA for Thales
Tel: + 1 (301) 654-9342

QNX, Photon, microGUI, and Neutrino are trademarks of QNX Software Systems GmbH & Co. KG, registered in certain jurisdictions, and are used under license. All other trademarks and trade names belong to their respective owners.