New QNX Technology Safeguards Embedded Systems Against Critical Data Loss


News at a Glance...

  • New Embedded Transactional File System (ETFS) offers unprecedented protection against power failures and other catastrophic events.
  • Eliminates data corruption and enables fast file system restarts after a power failure.
  • Now available in a comprehensive development kit that includes BSPs, drivers, source code, and other components for building flash devices.
  • [/sidebar]

    OTTAWA, November 15, 2005 — QNX Software Systems today announced that it is the first RTOS vendor to offer a fault-tolerant, embedded transactional file system (ETFS) for NAND flash memory devices.

    Unlike conventional file systems, ETFS for the QNX® Neutrino® RTOS uses a transactional update model that provides complete integrity across unexpected loss of power. As a result, this new file system eliminates the data corruptions that plague embedded systems when power failures and other catastrophic events occur.

    ETFS offers a solution tailor-made for harsh environments such as the automobile, where unexpected power fluctuations can easily corrupt a conventional file system, or for any application where data corruption can result in loss of service, revenue, or user safety. Moreover, it is optimized to provide very fast system restarts should a power failure occur.

    “The need for ultra-reliable storage has become a critical issue for an array of embedded devices, from medical instruments to industrial control applications to in-car systems,” said Mark Roberts, director of product management at QNX. “The problem is, system designers cannot provide guaranteed power levels and controlled shutdown procedures, due to attendant hardware costs. Therefore, file system software must be able to recover from both immediate power loss and uncontrolled power fluctuations. ETFS, combined with the fault-tolerant architecture of the QNX Neutrino RTOS, offers the optimal solution for achieving system survivability.”

    If ETFS is in the midst of a file system operation when a power failure occurs, it will, upon restart, “roll back” the operation and complete it correctly, thereby healing itself of a condition that would leave conventional file systems in a corrupt state.

    ETFS for the QNX Neutrino RTOS offers a number of advanced features to maximize reliability, performance, and media life. These include CRC error detection on each transaction (with rollback support), reduced metadata corruption, write buffering to minimize file fragmentation, automatic defragmentation, bad block support, bulk copy support, as well as wear-leveling to extend the mission life of NAND flash devices.

    New NOR flash file system also available

    QNX Software Systems has also released a new, updated flash file system for NOR flash devices. Like ETFS, the NOR flash file system supports industry-standard (POSIX, ISO C) file semantics and tools, including dynamic manipulation of files and directories, symbolic names, permissions, and long file names. It also features wear-leveling, bad sector handling, automated fault recovery, and automated detection and correction of file system corruption.

    Royalty-free license

    Both file systems are available now as part of the QNX Flash and Embedding Technology Development Kit (TDK), an integrated package of BSPs, drivers, source code, and other components for building flash devices into embedded systems.

    The kit includes binary and source code for both the NOR flash file system and NAND flash file system (ETFS), compression tools, an on-the-fly decompression utility, source code for utilities that control flash devices (formatting, partitioning, etc.), embedding source code, documentation, and a royalty-free license to distribute QNX flash file system technology.


    The new Flash File System and Embedding TDK, including ETFS support, is available now. Contact your local QNX sales representative or distributor for details.

    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.

    Reader Information

    Editorial Contacts

    Paul Leroux
    QNX Software Systems
    +1 613 591-0931

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