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Real-time OS for Industrial Control Systems

Increase security and scalability of industrial control systems with BlackBerry QNX

Real-time OS for Industrial Control Systems

Control engineers expect that the embedded software used in their industrial control systems (ICS) will run reliably with no downtime. This becomes a security and safety challenge as industrial control systems interconnect through Industrial IoT (IIoT). Choosing custom open source operating systems and drivers that are not designed with safety and security in mind will monopolize the time of your best developers and increase maintenance costs over time. In addition, certifying safety-critical equipment built on Linux®-based systems can be overwhelming or even impossible. All of these increase the complexity of software and, delay launch dates.

Let BlackBerry® QNX® manage time-consuming OS development and maintenance – and free your developers to focus on innovations and features that drive revenue. BlackBerry QNX offers a broad range of secure and reliable embedded software solutions, complemented by world-class engineering services, to help you accelerate time-to-market and reduce development costs. Many of our customers start with Linux and leverage that development effort with our POSIX-certified portfolio.

What You Need

A breach of an industrial control system can cause mayhem and put workers, the public and the environment at risk. Attack surfaces are growing as more embedded systems and IIoT devices are connected to the Internet. Security needs to be built-in across the entire system, starting with the OS, to improve your risk posture.

BlackBerry QNX solutions guard against system malfunctions, malware and cybersecurity breaches with a layered approach to security that won’t hamper functionality or performance. For example, there are more than 70 options to restrict what each process can do, and root-level access is removed by default. In addition, secure over-the-air (OTA) software updates, a secure supply chain, managed PKI authentication, FIPS-certified encryption, and cybersecurity services provide you with essential building blocks to create a secure system.

Learn more about security with QNX Neutrino RTOS.

Industrial control systems need real-time behavior with millisecond precision and a fail-proof foundation that ensures the highest-priority applications run first. When using a monolithic OS like Linux, you can’t schedule or prioritize critical functions over less important processes, and if there is a problem with an application, it can crash the whole system, potentially creating a life-threatening situation. BlackBerry QNX’s microkernel architecture provides unmatched reliability with a combination of separation mechanisms and adaptive partitioning.

At BlackBerry QNX, we’ve been keeping mission-critical systems running smoothly for the last 40 years, so you can rely on us to support you and your software over the long run. BlackBerry QNX operating systems are in more than 195 million vehicles and clients around the globe in a variety of industries rely on the expert support of BlackBerry QNX throughout their product lifecycles.

If your organization has a portfolio of many products, reusing application and driver code across product lines and lines of business helps scale your software reuse and streamline new product introductions (NPI) – so you can drive more revenue and market share.

When you use the QNX RTOS, you offload OS maintenance to BlackBerry QNX while building a standard set of drivers and applications that can be reused and adapted throughout your organization, saving time and valuable resources. BlackBerry QNX products are POSIX-compliant, and we have ported a broad range of open source projects, including Robot OS (ROS), OpenCV, Boost and Tensor Flow into the QNX platform. Developers ramp up quickly on QNX OS, as it looks and feels like Linux, and uses the same Eclipse toolchain, including the GNU compiler collection (gcc). Plus, BlackBerry QNX offers board support packages (BSPs) for the most current automotive and industrial qualified SoCs, and BlackBerry QNX experts can help streamline your development timelines.

Virtualization enables system designers to build dependable systems without wasting hardware resources. With an embedded hypervisor you can consolidate multiple guest operating systems running functions of mixed criticality on a single system-on-chip (SoC).

The QNX® Hypervisor® provides broad design flexibility, enabling the safe use of multiple operating systems, including Linux and Android, with the ability to isolate safety-critical processes from non-safety processes. QNX® OS for Safety can run as a guest on QNX® Hypervisor® for Safety, providing an even stronger foundation for systems that require advanced functional safety.

Safety certification to EN 61508 is a huge burden – and an almost insurmountable challenge if you use software of unknown provenance (SOUP), such as Linux. In addition, industrial control systems need to never crash and ensure that the highest-priority applications run first. Using a safety-certified OS or hypervisor can significantly reduce the complexity, cost and length of your embedded system certification processes – and ensure the performance you need.

QNX® OS for Safety and QNX Hypervisor for Safety are pre-certified for use in applications requiring compliance up to IEC 61508 SIL 3 and IEC 26262 ASIL D – to reduce your development and certification costs. All QNX solutions are designed with a focus on safety and the real-time determinism needed for industrial control systems. 

How BlackBerry QNX Can Help 

Builders of industrial control systems for critical infrastructure, such as hydroelectric and nuclear power plants and the petroleum industry, and all trust BlackBerry QNX. Learn more about these BlackBerry QNX solutions for your product lines:

QNX Hypervisor

Consolidate multiple operating systems on a single chip 

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.

QNX Neutrino RTOS

Optimize performance and achieve functional safety 

QNX RTOS is a POSIX-compliant, real-time OS (RTOS) for building industrial control systems. QNX OS is supported by field-proven development tools, feature-rich middleware and engineering services. BlackBerry QNX offers a version of our embedded operating system pre-certified to IEC 61508 SIL 3.

Security Services

Secure embedded systems and supply chains

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

Engineering Services

Bring products to market faster

BlackBerry QNX global engineering services help bring safe, secure and reliable products to market on time, on budget and with quality. With a 40-year proven track record, full-stack expertise and flexible engagement models, we can fit your needs. 

Technical Resources

QNX Board Support Packages (BSPs)
QNX Product Certifications for Industrial Control Systems
Free Trial
30-Day Evaluation of QNX® Software Development Platform