QNX Software has announced the latest addition to its portfolio of automotive safety products, the QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters.
Digital instrument clusters constitute one of the fastest-growing segments in automotive electronics. Using sophisticated 2D and 3D graphics, these devices can display traditional instrument cluster information, such as speed and RPM, as well as rich, context-sensitive information supplied by other vehicle subsystems, including turn-by-turn directions, local speed limits, rearview camera video and collision warnings. According to Strategy Analytics, the combined demand for hybrid and fully digital instrument clusters will increase from 8.7 million units in 2015 to 42.2 million by 2023.
With deployments in over 60 million cars, QNX has become the leading software supplier for vehicle infotainment systems. Since 2009, QNX technology has also been powering digital instrument clusters in vehicle brands such as Alfa Romeo, Audi, Corvette, Jaguar and Range Rover. The QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters builds on this expertise to help customers create cluster solutions that offer a superior user experience while satisfying stringent safety requirements.
With the new platform, QNX now offers a comprehensive solution for instrument cluster developers, which includes:
· The QNX OS for Safety, an ISO 26262-certified OS and toolchain that supports all of the automotive safety integrity levels, from ASIL A to ASIL D, required for clusters and other critical vehicle systems
· A 2D/3D graphics framework that is based on OpenGL and is set to be certified for use in clusters that comply with the ISO 26262 functional safety standard
· A software framework that protects safety-critical cluster functions from interference by other software components, enabling greater reliability and easier system-level certification
· A reference implementation, with source code, that gives developers a jumpstart on building fully digital instrument clusters
To pre-qualify the platform’s graphics framework to the ISO 26262 standard, QNX Software Systems is working closely with TÜV Rheinland, a world leader in functional safety assessments.
“We are seeing growing interest in ISO 26262, which has emerged worldwide as a leading standard for automotive functional safety, especially in the software domain,” said Heinz Gall, Head of the Functional Safety & Security Business Unit of TÜV Rheinland. “As a world leader in functional safety assessment, we support automotive companies to help them develop a safety culture and adopt best-in-class safety practices. The QNX Neutrino OS was the first realtime OS we assessed to ISO 26262 ASIL D as a Safety Element out of Context, and we will extend our collaboration with QNX Software Systems into the new domain of graphics software for instrument clusters.”
“QNX OS technology and i.MX applications processors from NXP offer a production-proven combination for digital instrument clusters. We are excited to support the QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters with our i.MX 6 series and future i.MX 8 series hardware platforms,” said Ron Martino, Vice President, i.MX Applications Processors and Advanced Technology Adoption, NXP Semiconductors. “Together, our offerings can address the safety-critical requirements of digital clusters, while offering bleeding-edge 3D and 2D graphics that enable unique driving experiences.”
To further accelerate development, the QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters will support application design tools from members of the QNX automotive ecosystem, such as Crank Software’s Storyboard Suite, DiSTI Corporation’s GL Studio, Elektrobit’s EB GUIDE, and Rightware’s Kanzi UI software. This rich selection of tools will enable customers to choose the UI technologies and design approaches that best address their project requirements.
“QNX has become an automotive leader by offering comprehensive, one-stop solutions that allow customers to focus on differentiation and time-to-market, rather than on low-level integration efforts,” said John Wall, Senior Vice President and Head of QNX Software Systems. “The new QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters brings this proven approach to the digital cluster market, enabling faster development and helping customers reduce the effort and risk of qualifying their end-products to safety standards such as ISO 26262.”
The QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters is scheduled to be available to select customers under an early access program, starting in August 2016.
When will we stop calling them phones?
If you don’t remember when phones were only used to talk to people, you may wonder why we still use this term for handsets, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK, on the eve of the 10th birthday of the app.
Do you remember when handsets were called phones because, well, we used them to phone people?
It took 120 years from the invention of the telephone to the use of phones to send text.
Between Alexander Graham Bell coining the term “telephone” in 1876 and Finland’s two main mobile operators allowing SMS messages between consumers in 1995, only science fiction writers and movie-makers imagined instant communication evolving much beyond voice. Even when BlackBerry shook the business world with email on a phone at the end of the last century, most consumers were adamant they would stick to voice.
It’s hard to imagine today that the smartphone as we know it has been with us for less than 10 years. Apple introduced the iPhone, the world’s first mass-market touchscreen phone, in June 2007, but it is arguable that it was the advent of the app store in July the following year that changed our relationship with phones forever.
That was the moment when the revolution in our hands truly began, when it became possible for a “phone” to carry any service that had previously existed on the World Wide Web.
Today, most activity carried out by most people on their mobile devices would probably follow the order of social media in first place – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all jostling for attention – and instant messaging in close second, thanks to WhatsApp, Messenger, SnapChat and the like. Phone calls – using voice that is – probably don’t even take third place, but play fourth or fifth fiddle to mapping and navigation, driven by Google Maps and Waze, and transport, thanks to Uber, Taxify, and other support services in South Africa like MyCiti, Admyt and Kaching.
Despite the high cost of data, free public Wi-Fi is also seeing an explosion in use of streaming video – whether Youtube, Netflix, Showmax, or GETblack – and streaming music, particularly with the arrival of Spotify to compete with Simfy Africa.
Who has time for phone calls?
The changing of the phone guard in South Africa was officially signaled last week with the announcement of Vodacom’s annual results. Voice revenue for the 2018 financial year ending 31 March had fallen by 4.6%, to make up 40.6% of Vodacom’s revenue. Total revenue had grown by 8.1%, which meant voice seriously underperformed the group, and had fallen by 4% as a share of revenue, from 2017’s 44.6%.
The reason? Data had not only outperformed the group, increasing revenue by 12.8%, but it had also risen from 39.7% to 42.8% of group revenue,
This means that data has not only outperformed voice for the first time – as had been predicted by World Wide Worx a year ago – but it has also become Vodacom’s biggest contributor to revenue.
That scenario is being played out across all mobile network operators. In the same way, instant messaging began destroying SMS revenues as far back as five years ago – to the extent that SMS barely gets a mention in annual reports.
Data overtaking voice revenues signals the demise of voice as the main service and key selling point of mobile network operators. It also points to mobile phones – let’s call them handsets – shifting their primary focus. Voice quality will remain important, but now more a subset of audio quality rather than of connectivity. Sound quality will become a major differentiator as these devices become primary platforms for movies and music.
Contact management, privacy and security will become critical features as the handset becomes the storage device for one’s entire personal life.
Integration with accessories like smartwatches and activity monitors, earphones and earbuds, virtual home assistants and virtual car assistants, will become central to the functionality of these devices. Why? Because the handsets will control everything else? Hardly.
More likely, these gadgets will become an extension of who we are, what we do and where we are. As a result, they must be context aware, and also context compatible. This means they must hand over appropriate functions to appropriate devices at the appropriate time.
I need to communicate only using my earpiece? The handset must make it so. I have to use gesture control, and therefore some kind of sensor placed on my glasses, collar or wrist? The handset must instantly surrender its centrality.
There are numerous other scenarios and technology examples, many out of the pages of science fiction, that point to the changing role of the “phone”. The one thing that’s obvious is that it will be silly to call it a phone for much longer.
MTN 5G test gets 520Mbps
MTN and Huawei have launched Africa’s first 5G field trial with an end-to-end Huawei 5G solution.
The field trial demonstrated a 5G Fixed-Wireless Access (FWA) use case with Huawei’s 5G 28GHz mmWave Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) in a real-world environment in Hatfield Pretoria, South Africa. Speeds of 520Mbps downlink and 77Mbps uplink were attained throughout respectively.
“These 5G trials provide us with an opportunity to future proof our network and prepare it for the evolution of these new generation networks. We have gleaned invaluable insights about the modifications that we need to do on our core, radio and transmission network from these pilots. It is important to note that the transition to 5G is not just a flick of a switch, but it’s a roadmap that requires technical modifications and network architecture changes to ensure that we meet the standards that this technology requires. We are pleased that we are laying the groundwork that will lead to the full realisation of the boundless opportunities that are inherent in the digital world.” says Babak Fouladi, Group Chief Technology & Information Systems Officer, at MTN Group.
Giovanni Chiarelli, Chief Technology and Information Officer for MTN SA said: “Next generation services such as virtual and augmented reality, ultra-high definition video streaming, and cloud gaming require massive capacity and higher user data rates. The use of millimeter-wave spectrum bands is one of the key 5G enabling technologies to deliver the required capacity and massive data rates required for 5G’s Enhanced Mobile Broadband use cases. MTN and Huawei’s joint field trial of the first 5G mmWave Fixed-Wireless Access solution in Africa will also pave the way for a fixed-wireless access solution that is capable of replacing conventional fixed access technologies, such as fibre.”
“Huawei is continuing to invest heavily in innovative 5G technologies”, said Edward Deng, President of Wireless Network Product Line of Huawei. “5G mmWave technology can achieve unprecedented fiber-like speed for mobile broadband access. This trial has shown the capabilities of 5G technology to deliver exceptional user experience for Enhanced Mobile Broadband applications. With customer-centric innovation in mind, Huawei will continue to partner with MTN to deliver best-in-class advanced wireless solutions.”
“We are excited about the potential the technology will bring as well as the potential advancements we will see in the fields of medicine, entertainment and education. MTN has been investing heavily to further improve our network, with the recent “Best in Test” and MyBroadband best network recognition affirming this. With our focus on providing the South Africans with the best customer experience, speedy allocation of spectrum can help bring more of these technologies to our customers,” says Giovanni.