In 2015, BlackBerry officially announced that it was halting the development and production of smartphones. But that doesn’t mean the giant’s end, in fact, BlackBerry had already begun a transformation before the announcement. BlackBerry is no longer a handset maker. With QNX systems, BlackBerry has successfully transformed itself into a system transfer provider in the automotive sector.
More than 150 million vehicles worldwide are equipped with QNX software products. QNX in the car market share of 75%, the country currently has more than 230 models using NQX system, including Delphi, Continental, General Electric, Aisin and other well-known electronic platforms are built on the QNX system. Almost all major automotive brands in the world use NQX-based systems.
QNX software also brought revenue growth to BlackBerry. According to BlackBerry’s latest financial results, total revenue from software and services was $239 million, up 24 percent from a year earlier, and recurrent revenue from software and services accounted for more than 90 percent of total revenue.
So why is the QNX system so popular?
The only developer
Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Software Engineering has done research to develop code “average” 0.75 defects per function point in the United States, or 6,000 defects per million lines of code.
To reach “very good” levels, the number of defects should be maintained at 600 to 1000. Assuming that all the code is at a “very good” level, if each vehicle contains 100 million lines of code, there is a risk of 100,000 bugs and 1000-5000 vulnerabilities.
In the case of most smart car operating systems focused on Android and Linux systems, such flaws and vulnerabilities are hard to avoid, fundamentally because the two systems are open source.
That may offer BlackBerry an opportunity. BlackBerry bought NQX from Harman International for $200 million in 2010 and has since become the sole developer of NQX, providing additional security assurances. When Linux systems expose hundreds of vulnerabilities, BlackBerry can limit the number of vulnerabilities to five.
“While open source solutions can save developers time, this loss is not something we can afford if there are security risks in this process and they remain in production.” Kaivan Karimi, Senior Vice President and Co-Head of BlackBerry Technology Solutions, said.
Even open source software is still subject to a lot of testing in getting into mass production, which can lead to increased costs. So BlackBerry chose a safe, economical route from the start. Seven of the world’s top eight auto motive manufacturers are using BlackBerry products.
In general, BlackBerrys are a priority for host factories in areas where a high degree of security and stability is required. On the in-car entertainment system, car makers prefer Linux or Android because they are more malleable, more flexible and open, and the open environment of Android is easier to land. How does BlackBerry solve this problem?
Security and openness
In fact, BlackBerry introduced qNX Hypervisor 1.0 in 2015. The biggest difference with QNX Hypervisor 2.0 is that it is certified to the ISO 26262 ASIL D standard, the world’s first commercial virtual machine certified by ASIL D Security.
The software uses BlackBerry’s 64-bit embedded operating system QNX SDP 7.0, allowing developers to unify multiple operating systems to a single computing platform or SoC chip, reducing costs and size. Developers can simplify the authentication process for security-critical systems by isolating security-related and non-security-related software components. Security-related components run on one operating system, while non-security-related components run on another operating system on the virtual machine.
This ensures that operating systems such as QNX Neutrino, Linux, and Android are supported on BlackBerry QNX Hypervisor 2.0.
On December 10th BlackBerry announced a partnership with Marley China. Integrating the NQX digital cockpit platform into Marelli’s Electronics eCockpit and Digital Cluster solutions, the integrated solutions will be adopted by Marelli’s wide range of OEM customers in China. According to The General Manager of Marili Electronics China, Yu Huihai, Marili is currently using NQX products, which use virtualized operating systems.
Mr. Marelli’s vision for the future of cars is to be both conservative and open. For example, instrumentation, is related to the entire car and driver interaction of the most important products, safety is the most important, there can be no intrusion, this will choose a relatively closed conservative system. But in the automotive entertainment system hope to have better compatibility and openness.
QNX Hypervisor 2.0 solves this problem. With the QNX Hypervisor 2.0 virtual machine, Marelli can run two operating systems at the same time, one using NQX software to keep the meter safe, and the other can choose both NQX and Android. “Both systems operate on virtualization platforms, addressing open and conservative compatibility issues. “I’m not going to be able to say.
In addition, BlackBerry has reached a strategic partnership with Weima, a new force in Chinese car-building. Waymar will use a range of BlackBerry NQX software and services, including the NQX digital cockpit platform and NQX secure virtual machines. Since mass production began on September 28 last year, more than 20,000 cars have been put off the line from the Wenzhou plant. The partnership with Waymar will help BlackBerry open up the Chinese electric car market.
China is a market for BlackBerry that can be tapped, and Kaivan Karimi has repeatedly stressed the importance he attaches to the Chinese market in interviews.
In Kaivan Karimi’s view, China is likely to become the first country to roll out autonomous driving on a large scale. The time it takes for every country to develop autonomous driving is similar, and from a technical point of view it doesn’t make much difference. Self-driving may be more of a social problem, requiring regulatory norms and government support.
“Compared to the European and North American markets, China has provided a rapid decision-making process for the autopilot sector, whether it’s an electric car that’s being driven by subsidies or investment in the electric vehicle industry, it’s a sign of government efficiency. At the same time, self-driving road infrastructure is easier to deploy and implement in big cities, many of which are larger than Western countries. So the prospect of autonomous driving in China is promising. Kaivan Karimi said.
BlackBerry’s emphasis on the Chinese market is on the one hand, but on the other hand, can the Chinese market accept BlackBerry? Offering competitive products is a point where BlackBerry’s core competencies are security and stability, but the QNX Hypervisor 2.0 is designed to compete with Android in smart cockpits and in-vehicle entertainment systems. But in the mainstream market of Android, it is not yet known whether BlackBerry will be able to extend its competitive advantage.
In addition, the Chinese market has a lot of car companies growing up in the Internet environment, they will gradually play a major role in the field of self-driving, but BlackBerry itself lacks the Internet gene, how to adapt to these emerging car models is a question that BlackBerry needs to consider, also determines whether BlackBerry can continue to open up the Chinese market.