Cisco signs deal to use QNX operating system

Cisco signs deal to use QNX operating system
Richard Ball Cisco has signed a license to use the x86 real time operating system developed by Canadian firm QNX Software Systems. The deal is part of Cisco’s ambition to increase the reliability of its networking and datacomms products. Until now, QNX operating system has been used in mission critical applications such as petrochemical or nuclear plant control. This, the company says, is why Cisco wants to use QNX: “We’re going to provide them the ability to never switch down their systems,” said Mal Raddalgoda, director of corporate communications at QNX. The QNX operating system uses a microkernel architecture so that all drivers and applications run in protected mode. If an error occurs, the offending code can be reloaded and restarted without crashing the kernel. This has other implications and advantages over other real time operating systems. “Cisco will be able to upgrade products in the field without switching down the system,” pointed out Raddalgoda. QNX is to make a series of announcements over the coming weeks related to the telecoms market, some 30 per cent of the embedded industry.


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