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BeNews: Exclusive Preview: QNX RtP

Aug 29, 2000, 18:19 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eugenia Loli-Queru)

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"QNX OS is well-known for running everything from medical hardware to satellites and spacecraft. QSSL, the company which develops QNX, have decided after nearly 20 years to adapt their product for the PC desktop market with a new and improved implementation of the QNX RealTime Platform (RtP), which is based on the Neutrino microkernel and powered by the Photon 2.0 windowing environment (RtP is currently under closed Beta). Since QNX RtP will be free for personal use in the very near future, this BeNews preview will see how QNX RtP compares to BeOS and to free Linux systems."

"Just as Be uses the buzzword "Media OS", QNX uses the buzzwords "real time OS" and "microkernel." The BeOS kernel is nearly a microkernel, but isn't quite there: A microkernel includes only a small set of core services within the kernel, including thread services, message passing, mutexes, condition variables, semaphores, signals, and scheduling. The kernel can be extended by dynamically plugging in service-providing processes, such as file systems, networking, POSIX message queues, and device drivers. This modularity speeds the boot process and offers good memory protection and easy upgradability. It is also the exact opposite of the Linux kernel, which is "monolithic" (everything is built into the kernel, hence the need for re-compilation when you add/remove hardware)."

"The QNX Neutrino kernel offers superior real-time response. With features like multitasking, threads, priority-driven preemptive scheduling, synchronization, and fast context switching (0.55 µsec on a Pentium III), the RTOS provides serious realtime performance. By real time, we mean that a command will be executed in the time it is expected e.g. immediately (but this is also scheduled by the programmer), no matter what the conditions are."

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