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Reliable Embedded OS for Aerospace & Defense

Increase system reliability and security with BlackBerry QNX

QNX Real-Time OS for Aerospace & Defense

Ground, naval, air and space systems must run with the greatest reliability and minimal downtime for decades. Advanced capabilities like autonomous operation and virtualization, the drive to lower SWaP-C (size, weight, power and cost), and cybersecurity threats are expanding system complexity. Choosing a proven standards-based microkernel real-time OS (RTOS) can simplify your development of secure and functionally safe mission-critical systems.

For the most popular hardware from Arm®, Intel® and others, embedded software solutions from BlackBerry® QNX® can help you design and integrate robust and secure systems efficiently and effectively. POSIX-compliance simplifies the porting of code to the safe and secure QNX® Neutrino® Realtime Operating System (RTOS) and QNX Hypervisor. In addition, BlackBerry QNX world-class engineering and security services complement our software portfolio to help you shorten delivery schedules and reduce program risk over long lifecycles.

What You Need

Standards help scale your technology and leverage valuable talent across systems and programs. Designing and building your systems using standards-based tools (e.g., GCC toolchain, Eclipse IDE) and APIs (e.g., PSE54 , Linux, OpenGL® ES), while leveraging trusted foundational software that scales from single and multi-core to high-performance compute platforms will help you ensure maximum portability and design flexibility.

Both the BlackBerry QNX RTOS and the QNX Hypervisor are POSIX-compliant, making our OS one of the industry’s easiest operating systems to port to. In addition, developers ramp up quickly, as QNX OS looks and feels like Linux and uses the same Eclipse development environment, including the GNU compiler collection.

Ground, naval, air and space systems are becoming increasingly complex from both software and hardware standpoints, and as more systems can be accessed via the Internet there is an increasing risk of cyber attacks. A security breach puts the mission, the personnel and classified information at risk. As such, building secure systems requires (at a minimum) a secure and robust RTOS, secure over-the-air (OTA) software updates, a secure supply chain, managed PKI authentication, and FIPS-certified encryption. BlackBerry can help you every step of the way.

BlackBerry QNX is well known for developing ultra-secure products, including the QNX RTOS. We also provide Security Services to assess the security of your systems and processes and identify vulnerabilities in binary code developed in-house or by third parties with the BlackBerry® Jarvis™ binary static application security testing (SAST) solution. Security experts are available to help at each phase in the software development lifecycle (SDLC).


System designers need to select the best hardware to meet each system’s unique requirements. The QNX RTOS is optimized to run on the most popular system-on-chips (SoCs) from Arm and Intel. Additionally, the QNX Hypervisor provides broad design flexibility, enabling the safe use of multiple operating systems (e.g., QNX, Linux, Android, others) on one SoC, while ensuring separation, isolation and performance. The QNX Hypervisor can be scaled down to lean Type 1 configurations and scaled up to feature rich Type 2 designs.

In addition, board support packages (BSPs) can be readily developed and reused on new and custom hardware to streamline development timelines. Our BSPs are delivered in source and binary formats to help you leverage hardware and board-specific implementations. Also, BlackBerry QNX Professional Services can help throughout your software lifecycle, including building custom software solutions for you.

Aerospace and defense systems have extremely long lifecycles and demand decades-long support and services. For 40 years, BlackBerry QNX has been a trusted supplier of embedded software, development tools and professional services. Thousands of companies globally trust the QNX software portfolio for use in a broad range of embedded systems where failure isn’t an option. BlackBerry® QNX® safety-certified solutions and world-class professional services are trusted to help ensure system reliability, accelerate time-to-market and reduce development costs. 

The QNX microkernel RTOS and hypervisor architectures help aerospace and defense companies develop highly robust systems that are both secure and reliable. The QNX microkernel architecture provides comprehensive isolation and the freedom from interference needed for mission-critical systems. All RTOS services run outside of kernel space, reducing the cybersecurity attack surface and allowing for optimal fault-tolerant designs. In addition, new system services can be added easily to the QNX RTOS without any modification of the kernel.

The QNX Hypervisor’s virtualization technology enables system designers to build dependable systems while maximizing system resources. Successfully lowering size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) may require the consolidation of multiple boards into a single system. In complex systems, the QNX Hypervisor provides the supervision and management capabilities to safely and reliably allow separate functional software areas to share common hardware and resources across multiple OS domains. 

How BlackBerry QNX Can Help 

Manufacturers of technology systems for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and civilian applications trust BlackBerry QNX. Learn more about these BlackBerry QNX solutions:

QNX Neutrino RTOS

Optimize performance and achieve functional safety 

QNX RTOS is a POSIX-compliant, real-time OS (RTOS) for building defense and aerospace systems. QNX OS is supported by field-proven development tools, feature-rich middleware and engineering services. BlackBerry QNX offers versions of our embedded OS pre-certified to IEC 61508 SIL 3, ISO 26262 ASIL D and other functional safety standards.

QNX Hypervisor

Consolidate multiple operating systems on a single SoC

QNX Hypervisor is a real-time Type 1 microkernel hypervisor that provides the trusted reliability and performance of the QNX OS while also allowing multiple operating systems to safely co-exist on the same system-on-chip (SoC). BlackBerry QNX offers a version of our hypervisor pre-certified to IEC 61508 SIL 3 and ISO 26262 ASIL D.

QNX Black Channel Communications

Safe and verified data communications for embedded systems

QNX® Black Channel Communications Technology helps ensure the safety of your system’s data communication by encapsulating the data being exchanged in a safety header and performing safety checks to validate it at both ends.

Security Services

Secure embedded systems and supply chains

BlackBerry QNX security services offer world-class security expertise, proven tools and trusted technology for the aerospace and defense industry. With a long legacy in security, BlackBerry has the expertise to help improve security of processes and products at every stage of your software development life cycle (SDLC).

Technical Resources

QNX® SDP 7.0 Board Support Packages for a wide array of boards
BlackBerry QNX Safety Certifications and Compliance
Free Trial
30-Day Evaluation of QNX® Software Development Platform