Qualcomm Technologies and BlackBerry have announced a new strategic collaboration to develop and manufacture cutting-edge automotive platforms for the next generation of connected vehicles. Following the agreement, the two companies will work on optimizing select Qualcomm hardware platforms with BlackBerry’s QNX software for a wide variety of uses, ranging from virtual cockpit controllers (VCC), telematics, and digital instrument clusters, to eCall and Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technologies. In addition to this, the two tech giants have also agreed to optimize BlackBerry OTA software and Secure Credential Management Services (SCM) for use with select Qualcomm Snapdragon modems in order to deliver high-performance automotive platforms in a timely and cost-effective manner.
QNX is a Unix-like OS first introduced in the early '80s by Quantum Software Systems. The OS was ultimately acquired by BlackBerry RIM in 2010, and the Canadian OEM's mobile branch made use of the QNX operating system one year later to create the BlackBerry Tablet OS for the PlayBook tablet. Although the platform is no longer used by the Canadian company in its mobile devices, QNX continues to see uses in the automotive industry and beyond, with its most recent update landing in January of this year as the new QNX SDP 7.0 (Software Development Platform), supporting C++14 and ARM as well as Intel's 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.
As part of the new agreement between Qualcomm and BlackBerry, the two companies will work to optimize Qualcomm-made technologies for the QNX software, and the end result will be used in a wide variety of applications in the automotive space, including electronic control gateways and digital instrument clusters, as well as infotainment systems. Qualcomm SVP Patrick Little claims that with the emergence of self-driving and connected cars, it has become a necessity for industry leaders in various areas to join forces in order to create safe and advanced technology solutions for the road. This isn't the first time the chipmaker is partnering with another tech giant on the future of connected cars as Qualcomm and LG Electronics also announced a similar partnership earlier this year and many related initiatives are likely to be introduced going forward.