Kontron and Blackberry QNX: Delivering Safety and Reliability to Mission-Critical Industries

An embedded system is a computer within a larger system designed to perform a dedicated function. It is an essential component of many of the devices or equipment used in medical imaging systems, industrial assembly lines, and transportation vehicles, to name a few. To enable larger machines to work efficiently, embedded systems communicate with the environment around them, process data and perform various tasks in a timely manner. 


Embedded systems are often used in real-time environments where deployments are more complex due to performance requirements. Kontron’s embedded platforms are designed to leverage next generation technologies and provide the powerful computing performance needed for demanding applications to run reliably in harsh environments.


Equipment used in industries such as defense, medical, industrial and heavy machinery rely on these systems to provide processing power to capture, monitor, and use data for greater insight into their operations. Equipment needs to be reliable and in many instances, can’t afford any downtime. Hence the need for a real-time operating system (RTOS) like Blackberry QNX to facilitate reliability, scalability, and security. 

The RTOS helps the embedded system switch between tasks and ensure the most critical are prioritized first and the rest perform in the background for 24/7 operations. Tasks are executed quickly with predictability, determinism and very low latency.


Building safe, secure, smart solutions

Many customers in our vertical markets expect secure solutions that operate continuously. Blackberry QNX helps developers deliver safer solutions with purpose-built technology for embedded systems that is reliable and fast. 


QNX is tested and supported on various Kontron systems and boards and designers can use our board support packages (BSPs) to speed up time-to-market and secure their solutions to minimize interruptions for customers. Together, Kontron and Blackberry QNX are offering better products for the world’s most critical industries.


Medical devices: Where reliability matters

Medical devices are crucial in preventing, diagnosing and treating short and long term health conditions. Equipment must be reliable as people’s lives are at stake. Device manufacturers need solutions that reduce downtime and improve efficiency for enhanced patient care. Moreover, they must follow strict safety certifications before bringing a product to market.


Kontron motherboards are providing health practitioners with highly reliable computing equipment that meet strict safety requirements. Modules are designed and approved for 24/7 continuous operation with an enhanced temperature range up to 60 °C. Their small yet highly dense form factors and ability to add powerful graphics cards for image grabbing and processing make them ideal for X-ray and CT scanning and laboratory analysis equipment.


Kontron and QNX are helping companies in patient diagnostics imaging, critical care, therapy and surgical areas overcome regulation challenges and work more efficiently. These companies need reliable hardware with a safety-certified OS and microkernel architecture layer like QNX to isolate components that are not safety-critical from those that are, streamlining the certification process.


Wind power: A foundation that lasts longer

Energy is increasingly being generated through natural resources such as wind and solar, to minimize the negative impact of fossil fuels on the environment. For energy applications to operate effortlessly in vast, remote areas, computing platforms need the resiliency to withstand extreme temperatures, vibrations, dust and other environmental conditions. They also must last for decades with minimal maintenance required.

Kontron modules and systems help monitor and control the production of green energy on wind turbines in real-time. From central control computers to distributed sub stations in the field, extended product life cycles and guaranteed long-term availability of components puts Kontron at the forefront of innovation in this area. 


We’re seeing customers building their safety-critical systems for wind power by leveraging the QNX Hypervisor, certified to IEC 61508 or ISO 26262 standards that include one or more safety-certified virtual machines. This allows them to innovate with Linux for example, without having to worry about jeopardizing the integrity of their overall system.


Heavy machinery: Focus on cyber-security

Heavy duty equipment needs to function efficiently to prevent injury or fatal accidents. Machinery that fails or malfunctions can have serious impacts on workers operating it. Ongoing digital transformation holds the promise of improving productivity and reducing the costs of a range of business processes. However as technology evolves, the more sophisticated the safety threats become. Solutions with robustness, reliability, and high-performance computing capabilities in challenging environments are of utmost importance.


Heavy machinery requires a solid hardware foundation like Kontron combined with highly secure software to withstand harsh environments where failure is not an option. QNX’s reputation for having high levels of fault tolerance, makes it a great fit for safety-critical embedded systems. Their Hypervisor for Safety allows customers to manage multiple guest systems in such a way that each is isolated from outside interference. 

Together with Kontron’s rugged compute platforms for heavy-duty operations, developers are delivering safer, more reliable solutions in construction, agriculture, trucking, mining, and more.


Secure, optimized systems for the future

Kontron is making it easier for developers to implement QNX by providing board support packages (BSPs) that offer an abstraction layer of hardware-specific software already tested on various modules and systems. The combination assists customers in building secure, optimized systems that last for many years while keeping their cost of ownership down.



If you would like to learn more about the advantages of Kontron’s QNX board support packages, visit our BSP library here. 

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