Research in Motion said Friday (04/09/2010) that it had signed a deal with Harman International to acquire its QNX Software Systems unit to help tie its BlackBerry smartphones to car navigation systems.
Terms of the deal were not announced. It is expected to close within 30 to 45 days if it passes regulatory approvals.
QNX designs a real-time embedded OS, that it has tied to ARM, MIPS, PowerPC and other processors and embedded designs.
"The car is going to become the first-class citizen of the cloud, where inside the car you're going to have access to all the connected media, all the social services that are out there, and it will truly revolutionize the driving experience, the experience of the automotive makers making those cars, the ecosystem of people that are going to make applications for those cars," said Dan Dodge, the chief executive of QNX, in a recent video made with Alcatel-Lucent to retrofit a Toyota car with a cloud-connected entertainment system networked via the wireless LTE standard. "It's probably one of the most exciting times in automotive history."
I wouldn't have named QNX as the software to buy if you're looking to get into car navigation systems, but they're certainly a good choice. I've used QNX here and there, but it's been quite a few years back. The software was always really neat looking (Photon is a beautiful GUI), was blazing fast, tiny footprint, and as stable as anything I've ever encountered.
For those unfamiliar, QNX is a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) that's a perfect example of a microkernel architecture.
In a move that revolutionizes software development practices by combining the best of the open source and commercial software domains, QNX Software Systems today announced that it is opening access to the source code of its QNX Neutrino realtime operating system (RTOS) under a new hybrid software licensing arrangement.
Effective immediately, QNX will make source code for its award-winning, microkernel-based OS available for download. The first source release includes the code to the QNX Neutrino microkernel, the base C library, and a variety of board support packages (BSPs) for popular embedded and computing hardware.
I wouldn't believe it if I had not read it on www.qnx.com. QNX is a really neat operating system. It's a microkernel-based OS, loading essentially everything on-the-fly. I've installed and toyed with QNX on x86 years ago, but this RTOS is more geared towards robotics, assembly lines, and automated machining.
New Hybrid Software Model
These changes are part of a new hybrid software model created by QNX that supports the customer’s goal of profiting from software while fueling the passion for developing it.
Access to QNX source code is free, but commercial deployments of QNX Neutrino runtime components still require royalties, and commercial developers will continue to pay for QNX Momentics development seats. However, noncommercial developers, academic faculty members, and qualified partners will be given access to QNX development tools and runtime products at no charge.
So not only do we get the source code for free, we get access to the development environment! This is great.
Upon completing the free registration, users identify which of three different software licenses is appropriate to their interests and gain immediate access to copies of most QNX software products, as well as to source code for many of these components.
Once you've registered, here's the links to the goodies.