QNX Publishes Source Code to Transparent Distributed Processing Technology

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News at a Glance...

  • Innovative technology brings power of peer-to-peer networking to embedded devices.
  • Allows any device to leverage the hardware resources and software services of other connected devices.
  • Developers can view or download the source code on Foundry27, the community site for QNX developers.
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    OTTAWA, Canada, January 28, 2008 — QNX Software Systems today published the source code for its transparent distributed processing (TDP), a groundbreaking technology that brings the power of peer-to-peer networking to the world of embedded systems.

    Using QNX TDP, embedded systems can transparently harness one another’s software and hardware resources, transforming a disparate group of networked devices into a virtual superdevice. Efficient and simple to use — the technology requires no special software programming — QNX TDP can significantly reduce hardware costs and enhance the fault-tolerance of a wide range of embedded applications, from Internet routers to in-car infotainment networks.

    With QNX TDP, any device can access the resources of any other connected device — including disks, Internet connections, databases, and graphical displays — as if those resources were running on the local processor. This location transparency can reduce hardware costs, since it allows devices to share resources instead of duplicating them. For instance, if one device has a large amount of flash memory, it can simply “advertise” the memory to other devices and allow them to access it.

    QNX TDP also simplifies the design of distributed, high-availability systems. For instance, an application can access a remote service without having to know where that service is running or whether the service is replicated on multiple nodes for fault-tolerance. The application simply issues a message using standard POSIX calls, and QNX TDP forwards the message to the appropriate node.

    “Today, almost every embedded device is network-connected, yet most operating systems have failed to keep pace. As a result, developers must use one programming interface to write applications for a standalone device and use a completely different interface to write applications that will be distributed across multiple networked devices,” said Kerry Johnson, director of product management at QNX Software Systems. “But with QNX transparent distributed processing, developers can write their applications one way, regardless of how those applications are ultimately deployed — whether on a single device or across a massive network.”

    Traditionally, the process of accessing peripherals and low-level software services on remote nodes is highly complex: developers must implement some form of local proxy or gateway, along with a discovery mechanism and a protocol specific to the type of peripheral being accessed. This, combined with the overhead of a communication protocol like TCP/IP, adds significant overhead and latency. QNX TDP, on the other hand, provides all of these capabilities out-of-the-box.

    Massively distributed multicore systems
    Developers can combine QNX TDP with QNX symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and bound multiprocessing (BMP) to achieve the ultimate in scalability and compute power. QNX SMP and BMP allow developers to harness the full parallelism of multicore processors, while QNX TDP can merge any number of multi-core processors into a fault-tolerant cluster of enormous processing capacity.

    Network redundancy
    For maximum availability and load-balancing, QNX TDP also supports multiple links between CPUs. If one link fails, QNX TDP can automatically reroute the data over the remaining links, without loss of service. It can also load-balance data over all available links, resulting in significantly higher throughput.

    Multiple applications
    QNX TDP has already proven itself in an enormous range of systems, including highly distributed control planes in core routers; multi-headed infotainment systems in cars; and industrial systems that perform distributed monitoring, management, and control. Since QNX TDP operates above the transport layer, it works equally well across LANs, backplanes, proprietary switch fabrics, vehicle buses like CAN and MOST, and even the Internet.

    QNX TDP is also known as Qnet networking.

    Available for download
    The source code for QNX transparent distributed processing is available for download as part of the QNX Core Networking 6.4 project. To download the source, QNX community members can visit Foundry27, the QNX developer portal, and click on the Core Networking Source link.

    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
    paull@qnx.com

    QNX, 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.