1. The_Engine's Avatar
    This was mentioned by Tumor in another thread, but RIM's acquisition of QNX software seems to have flown under the radar. I think because QNX's prior owner, Harmon was implementing it in teh Auto Industry.

    Here is a part of the Statement from Lazaridis on the acquisition:
    "RIM is excited about the planned acquisition of QNX Software Systems and we look forward to ongoing collaboration between Harman, QNX and RIM to further integrate and enhance the user experience between smartphones and in-vehicle audio and infotainment systems," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at RIM. "In addition to our interests in expanding the opportunities for QNX in the automotive sector and other markets, we believe the planned acquisition of QNX will also bring other value to RIM in terms of supporting certain unannounced product plans for intelligent peripherals, adding valuable intellectual property to RIM's portfolio and providing long-term synergies for the companies based on the significant and complementary OS expertise that exists within the RIM and QNX teams today."
    So, is the unannounced "Intelligent Peripheral" the Tablet?

    And being that QNX's primary product is an Unix based OS MicroKernal....

    From Wikipedia:
    As a microkernel-based OS, QNX is based on the idea of running most of the OS in the form of a number of small tasks, known as servers. This differs from the more traditional monolithic kernel, in which the operating system is a single very large program composed of a huge number of "parts" with special abilities. In the case of QNX, the use of a microkernel allows users (developers) to turn off any functionality they do not require without having to change the OS itself; instead, those servers are simply not run.

    The system is quite small, with earlier versions fitting on a single floppy disk.[1]
    QNX Neutrino (2001) has been ported to a number of platforms and now runs on practically any modern CPU that is used in the embedded market. This includes the PowerPC, x86 family, MIPS, SH-4 and the closely related family of ARM, StrongARM and XScale CPUs.
    ...I am thinking that the second bolded comment from Lazaridis referencing OS expertise above speaks to RIM using this as the next BB OS kernel. This could possibly what is behind the Rumored New OS running on the S3 we have heard about.

    QNX was open source before RIM acquired it, so it is possible they were working with it prior to the acquisition.

    I am no expert on OS Software, so I look to the community to discuss this one. What do you guys think?
    07-01-10 05:01 AM
  2. tumer's Avatar
    Wow it does seem rim got a pretty deal on this company. I think rim might of down played it so not to tip anyone off to what they were really working on
    07-01-10 05:56 AM
  3. The_Engine's Avatar
    Also of you go to QNX.com you'll see a reference to your car connecting to an LTE network. I know that VZW actually runs the connectivity behind OnStar so this makes sense. VZW has been marketing the new LTE network for a lot more then phones. Think about your washing machine reporting diagnostics and downloading new firmaware from the manufacturer.

    But the point is that QNX has already been working on LTE connectivity which we have always heard will be in the Storm 3.

    Maybe it is a good time to buy RIM stock now that it is an all time low.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-01-10 06:50 AM
  4. tumer's Avatar
    it seems that this purchase was really over locked
    07-01-10 07:55 AM
  5. PDM's Avatar
    07-01-10 08:05 AM
  6. fecurtis's Avatar
    Wow nice find.
    07-01-10 10:02 AM
  7. Borborygm's Avatar
    anyone who's ever used QNX (I-opener internet device with ancient hardware) knows it's blazing fast for what it does. This will be a welcome change for rim in terms of OS efficiency(Much like the total revamp of the palmOS once they purchased beOS).
    07-01-10 10:32 AM
  8. The_Engine's Avatar
    Yes but these focus on the auto industry implementations that Harmon was employing QNX for. Even Kevin on this site referrd to a BlackBerry controlled car.

    people missed the fact that RIM acquired a Unix micro kernel that is basically perfect to drop into thru OS and create a massive upgrade.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-01-10 10:33 AM
  9. tumer's Avatar
    That's what I'm talking about and I think rim really down played that un order to keep it quiet . Everyone analyst and experts were the thinking cars I think that was a small part of what rim wanted from this company. Does any one know what qnx financial sheet is like does it make money and any patents other companies may use
    07-01-10 11:08 AM
  10. SA13's Avatar
    It sounds like this is right up RIM's alley

    The QNX Neutrino RTOS Secure Kernel delivers the OS that companies creating aerospace, defense and security systems need to be able to meet the stringent safety and security requirements of mission-critical applications.
    In addition to the field-proven reliabilty of the standard QNX Neutrino RTOS, the QNX Neutrino RTOS Secure Kernel provides different privilege levels for different applications, mediation to verify all accesses, and a mechanism for resource

    Secure microkernel
    The QNX Neutrino RTOS Secure Kernel is more secure than other commercial operating systems, not just because its certifications say so, but because only a microkernel can provide proper isolation between all aspects of a system, including filesystems and networking stacks.
    This RTOSs unique adaptive partitioning technology guarantees system resources for applications, while preventing rogue software from denying resources to other parts of the system. During overload conditions, this same technology enforces hard resource guarantees, ensuring that applications receive their budgeted share of resources.
    07-01-10 11:52 AM
  11. Borborygm's Avatar
    That's what I'm talking about and I think rim really down played that un order to keep it quiet . Everyone analyst and experts were the thinking cars I think that was a small part of what rim wanted from this company. Does any one know what qnx financial sheet is like does it make money and any patents other companies may use
    They're a sleeping giant. The companies that have licensed their technology in the past have never really done them justice.

    QNX Software 30th Anniversary
    07-01-10 12:40 PM
  12. _StephenBB81's Avatar
    It sounds like this is right up RIM's alley
    I agree, they already hold a lot of the security certifications that RIM puts such high value in, a new OS built on this core could be a fast track to security certifications on a ground up OS.

    OS 6 might just be as all the naysayer have been claiming and just a rework on OS 5 to make it a stepping stone for a new OS, that is compliant with the new Networks going up in North America.

    I am really hopeful that they launch a New OS with the Storm3, and possibly a few other updated candy bar devices, though I'll probably be stuck with OS6 on a 9800 because I'm impatient haha
    07-01-10 02:39 PM
  13. cwong15's Avatar
    I've already done my share of eager speculation over the possibilities of QNX, but let's be sober about what exactly QNX's Neutrino OS is. The BlackBerry OS is not in fact a peer of Neutrino. It is mostly (if not entirely) Java code that runs in a JVM that in turn generally runs on top of a lower level OS that interfaces with the hardware. The fact that the BB OS is Java-based is why you can run those BB simulators on your regular PC running Windows or whatever Java-capable OS. Neutrino is the sort of OS that runs below the level of the JVM, mostly invisible to the Java-based apps that run on it. If today's BlackBerry devices were running on top of QNX, would you know?

    RIM could theoretically just run the BB OS on top of a JVM on top of QNX Neutrino. That may have performance advantages, depending on the relative weaknesses of whatever RIM is using now and depending on the quality of the new JVM (RIM is using Sun's Java ME code right now). But what would be interesting would be what additional possibilities QNX would open for the BlackBerry. Would it be related to technology from the auto navigation software? Would it be related to QNX's "hard realtime" capability? I'm drawing a blank, and RIM isn't talking.

    RIM's people have said before that they have a product development cycle of about 2 years. Whatever they have been up to for the last 2 years, I'm sure it will be an aggressive response to the new competitive landscape, and be more wide-ranging than simply a change of underlying plumbing that a mere QNX OS switch would provide.
    07-01-10 11:09 PM
  14. Jayhawk-X's Avatar
    This is great new's, the system they use is a true microkernal OS, it also enable's developer's to decide exactly where every process & thread will run. Man, if this goes through the sky's the limit.
    07-02-10 12:41 AM
  15. grahamf's Avatar
    This is great new's, the system they use is a true microkernal OS, it also enable's developer's to decide exactly where every process & thread will run. Man, if this goes through the sky's the limit.
    This, I believe, is the reason for the QNX aquisition.
    I don't know what RIM is currently running below the JVM, but from what we can tell it is unable to communicate with the JVM very well. this leads to the infamous memory leaks, as the JVM cannot indicate that memory has been freed up but instead still considers it full. this also leadt to limited info about the applications running.
    consider this: run task manager by hitting ctrl-alt-del (mac users go to Applications/Utility/Activity Monitor) and compare it to the applications section of the BB. as you can see the desktop version will telly you everything about the running application, such as how many scripts it has or how much ram/virtualram it is using or how much of the processor it is using and allows you to force-quit bad apps, while the blackberry version only tells you how much memory the application is using, combining inactive memory with active memory, and the only way to force quit a bad app is to restart the phone.
    with QNX I believe Blackberrys should have a more precise control over applications hat will make it much more efficient.
    07-02-10 01:45 AM
  16. The_Engine's Avatar
    @cwong15 - on the 2 year cycke, I totally agree. I normally would say we'll see something in OS7 of we are lucky. But I think RIM realizes that they don't have that kind of time. Look at now fast they integrated webkit. They acquired torchmobile in what? November 2009(?) and were showing off the new browser at MWC in February 2010?

    If RIM has something other than OS 6 running the S3 than I think it will be QNX. Especially because of what you are describing as an almost plug an play integration aspect.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-02-10 06:44 AM
  17. cwong15's Avatar
    This, I believe, is the reason for the QNX aquisition.
    I don't know what RIM is currently running below the JVM, but from what we can tell it is unable to communicate with the JVM very well. this leads to the infamous memory leaks, as the JVM cannot indicate that memory has been freed up but instead still considers it full. this also leadt to limited info about the applications running.
    consider this: run task manager by hitting ctrl-alt-del (mac users go to Applications/Utility/Activity Monitor) and compare it to the applications section of the BB. as you can see the desktop version will telly you everything about the running application, such as how many scripts it has or how much ram/virtualram it is using or how much of the processor it is using and allows you to force-quit bad apps, while the blackberry version only tells you how much memory the application is using, combining inactive memory with active memory, and the only way to force quit a bad app is to restart the phone.
    with QNX I believe Blackberrys should have a more precise control over applications hat will make it much more efficient.
    I'd say that it's probably more complicated than that, and the JVM is more capable than you think. The trouble is that even if the JVM has the process stats and control that you want, the OS may not actually expose it to you. Case in point: the engineering screen. Accessing the engineering screen is pretty complicated on most BBs -- I don't remember how, you'd have to search the forums -- but I noticed that the Storm 2 has some sort of touch-code to open it (hold Menu, touch top left/top right alternatively). From the engineering screen, you can do things like open a process list, view CPU usage and real memory usage or kill individual processes.

    The other thing is that multitasking and process management is actually handled by the JVM, not the underlying OS. The About screen on my BB tells me that it uses Sun's J2ME CLDC code. That in turn has multitasking capability. In fact, the JVM is practically an OS in its own right, managing its own midlet processes. If you ran the BBOS+JVM on top of QNX, QNX will see just one large process instead of the individual apps running.

    So unless RIM drastically changes its architecture the obvious strengths of QNX's OS may not apply to a JVM-based system like the BlackBerry OS. Of course, that may be why RIM actually bought QNX instead of just licensing the OS: to get the expertise of the QNX people applied to the BlackBerry. But such grand dreams fly against the fact (as others have pointed out) that RIM only acquired QNX in April. Oh well. RIM will tell us in good time.
    07-02-10 10:59 PM
  18. sivan's Avatar
    I'd say that it's probably more complicated than that, and the JVM is more capable than you think. The trouble is that even if the JVM has the process stats and control that you want, the OS may not actually expose it to you. Case in point: the engineering screen. Accessing the engineering screen is pretty complicated on most BBs -- I don't remember how, you'd have to search the forums -- but I noticed that the Storm 2 has some sort of touch-code to open it (hold Menu, touch top left/top right alternatively). From the engineering screen, you can do things like open a process list, view CPU usage and real memory usage or kill individual processes.

    The other thing is that multitasking and process management is actually handled by the JVM, not the underlying OS. The About screen on my BB tells me that it uses Sun's J2ME CLDC code. That in turn has multitasking capability. In fact, the JVM is practically an OS in its own right, managing its own midlet processes. If you ran the BBOS+JVM on top of QNX, QNX will see just one large process instead of the individual apps running.

    So unless RIM drastically changes its architecture the obvious strengths of QNX's OS may not apply to a JVM-based system like the BlackBerry OS. Of course, that may be why RIM actually bought QNX instead of just licensing the OS: to get the expertise of the QNX people applied to the BlackBerry. But such grand dreams fly against the fact (as others have pointed out) that RIM only acquired QNX in April. Oh well. RIM will tell us in good time.
    JVM's are great. Android also uses a JVM. Why is it that RIM using a JVM is considered "bad" or "old" but when other do, it's fine?

    A JVM is an abstraction over a kernel. This is a good thing, so app developers don't have to worry about memory and low level details and let the OS manage them instead. In return you give up a bit of fine grained control.

    In addition to BlackBerry and Android, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 will also run only managed code, that is, using a VM. Palm also uses a VM, it's the browser.

    Only Apple doesn't use a VM for historical reasons. So I don't see why people keep spouting off about how bad JVMs are.

    And for the record I rarely see memory leaks on my 9700. Slowdowns are maybe a once in a couple of months occurrence.
    07-03-10 12:22 AM
  19. WillieLee's Avatar
    It is unknown what the overall plans RIM has for QNX, but their foothold in the automotive sector is the main reason for the purchase. QNX is powering the BMW infotainment center and it was recently announced that BMW's ConnectedDrive will be incorporating the Pearl 3G this fall so a consumer can have greater functionality with their phone while in the vehicle. These tie-ins will only grow stronger now that RIM owns QNX.

    As far as future products or if RIM has plans to integrate any OS features into their products, that is unknown. But it doesn't hurt to have a close-at-hand Canadian company that has a great deal of experience in designing touch panels and other industry controls when you are moving into touchscreens and the tablet market.
    07-03-10 12:12 PM
  20. WAFlowers's Avatar
    So unless RIM drastically changes its architecture the obvious strengths of QNX's OS may not apply to a JVM-based system like the BlackBerry OS. Of course, that may be why RIM actually bought QNX instead of just licensing the OS: to get the expertise of the QNX people applied to the BlackBerry. But such grand dreams fly against the fact (as others have pointed out) that RIM only acquired QNX in April. Oh well. RIM will tell us in good time.
    All that is true, but your grand dreams may yet fly. I have it on good authority that RIM has been hire QNX insiders for approximately 2 years before they acquired the company. If so (and I have reason to believe the information is solid) then this is a plan that has been in the works for a while, and is probably close to release.

    I wonder if RIM would like to hire the guy that was key to the design and implementation of the older QNX4 OS? These days I use QNX6 Neutrino, which is what would be in a BB.
    07-12-10 02:20 PM
  21. neverkno's Avatar
    Just subscribed

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-13-10 06:22 PM
  22. allengeorge's Avatar
    My speculation is that at some point in the past a business decision was made to expand RIM beyond the phone market into auto (and maybe tablet later). At some point following that a technical decision was probably made not to port the OS underlying the BB JVM to these new devices, and instead use a well-established realtime OS like QNX. Making a 'correct' realtime OS is pretty difficult and it's much easier to use something that's well-proven and has a known foothold in the market you're targeting. Besides, consolidating your development on one platform instead of 2 or 3 has a significant cost benefit.

    Anyways, will that have a user-visible impact? Who knows. It depends on what the current limitations of the BB software stack are. My guess is that there's a much larger amount of managed code (i.e. Java code targeting the BB JVM and APIs) than low-level code like device drivers. QNX probably (most likely) provides facilities to ensure that certain classes of failures can be recovered from without restarts or corrupting general memory. I can't see how it could help a lot with the Java code. Improving the Java code is going to require a substantial change in development and testing methodology at RIM and a commitment to giving users the best user experience possible. Plus, RIM is going to have to really improve their developer tools. People expect apps on their phones nowadays, and frankly, most BB apps look poor.
    07-14-10 08:46 PM
  23. The_Engine's Avatar
    ^^ not sure I am with you 100%. The auto angle with QNX seems to stem from the PRIOR Owner, Harmon, was selling it. QNX in and of itself is more open ended. I don't think RIM was after Automotive integration when they acquired QNX. I think they were buying a Unix Micro kernel to help reinvent their OS. The OS5 kernel clearly isn't winning them any awards, or even good reviews.

    Definitely agree on the SDK aspect. Considering the dud that was WES, their Dev Con in September better unveil some serious sh^t about OS 6 and whatever they have running the S3.
    07-14-10 09:44 PM
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