QNX Showcases the Future of Automotive Digital Instrument Clusters at Convergence 2008


News at a Glance...

  • QNX brings the rich graphics experience of Adobe Flash and OpenGL ES to digital instrument clusters, while delivering automotive-grade performance and reliability.
  • Demonstration cluster leverages realtime performance of QNX Neutrino RTOS and graphics acceleration of Freescale MPC5121e processor.
  • Attendees of the Convergence automotive electronics conference can see the cluster in action at the QNX booth, #207, from October 20 to 22.
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    OTTAWA, Canada, October 20, 2008 — QNX Software Systems, the global leader in operating systems and middleware for the automotive infotainment market, today will demonstrate how its ground-breaking technology is accelerating the next major innovation for automotive interiors: the digital instrument cluster.

    The demonstration, which features the QNX® Neutrino® RTOS and QNX Aviage® HMI Suite running on the Freescale MPC5121e processor, showcases how QNX technology brings the rich graphics experience of Adobe Flash and OpenGL ES to digital instrument clusters, while delivering true realtime performance and automotive-grade reliability. The demonstration will take place in booth 207 at the Convergence automotive electronics conference, from October 20-22.

    Digital instrument clusters are poised to transform the driving experience by integrating speedometers, tachometers, and other traditional cluster information with navigation displays, backup cameras, lane-departure warnings, cellphones, MP3 players, and other digital content. QNX-based digital clusters can even reconfigure themselves on the fly to assist the driver; for example, by replacing a tachometer with a backup camera when the driver shifts into reverse.

    “The instrument cluster is the latest piece of in-car electronics to move from the analog to digital world, and automakers are seizing on the opportunity to differentiate their brands,” said Andrew Poliak, director of worldwide automotive sales, QNX Software Systems. “But while MP3 players and other consumer devices may interact with the instrument cluster, this is one application that can’t be left to a consumer-grade operating system. Clusters must respond instantly and consistently, each and every time, and those are precisely the qualities that QNX, with its deep realtime experience, brings to the table.”

    To build the demonstration cluster, QNX engineers took advantage of the QNX Aviage HMI Suite, which supports both Adobe Flash Lite 3 and OpenGL ES 3D graphics, and the QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite, which allows car infotainment systems to integrate seamlessly with iPods, USB flash drivers, cellphones, and other consumer devices.

    “QNX is at the vanguard of bringing Adobe Flash technology to the in-car computing market,” said Mike Bergeron, vice president of sales and business development, Mobile and Devices at Adobe. “With its robust support for Adobe Flash Lite 3, QNX allows automotive OEMs and suppliers to leverage the superior user experience of Adobe Flash and to take advantage of the huge community of graphics designers who use Flash authoring tools.”

    The demo runs on the Freescale MPC5121e, a heterogeneous multi-core chip based on the e300 core and Power Architecture™ technology that is designed for automotive applications that require sophisticated displays, graphics acceleration, and network connectivity.

    “QNX’s off-the-shelf support of our MPC5121e multi-core processor will speed development cycles and enable designers to quickly incorporate the latest display and computing technologies into vehicles — including digital instrument clusters,” said Mike Bryars, manager of Freescale’s Infotainment, Multimedia and Telematics operation. “QNX has long been a valued automotive alliance partner for Freescale, and this extension of our relationship will help fuel exciting new innovations for in-car computing.”

    YouTube video
    A video of the QNX digital instrument cluster has been posted on YouTube. The URL is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf1dm4BzW2Y. Convergence attendees can see the cluster first-hand in the QNX booth #207.

    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, QNX Momentics® development suite, and QNX Aviage® middleware together provide the industry’s most reliable and scalable framework for building innovative, high-performance embedded systems. Global leaders such as Cisco, Daimler, 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.

    Editorial Contacts

    Paul Leroux
    QNX Software Systems
    +1 613 591-0931

    QNX, Aviage, Momentics, 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.