Software technology hardens safety-critical in-car data exchange

April 15, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Software technology hardens safety-critical in-car data exchange
Blackberry Ltd has launched a software solution enabling the development of software solutions that need to meet strict safety requirements like those in cars and, beyond that, in safety-relevant environments in general.

Blackberry’s new QNX Black Channel Communications Technology is certified to ISO 26262 ASIL D, the automotive industry's functional safety standard, is based on the safe data communication requirements identified in IEC 61508 and mitigation measures defined in Autosar End-to-End communications protection profiles. This software technology aims at making the countless nodes of data communication in embedded systems functionally safe. By safely encapsulating the data being exchanged and validating it with essential safety checks, it protects data communication from systematic software faults, random hardware faults and transient faults while helping in the automatic prevention of damages from these failures, all with minimal impact on system performance.

The software provides a safety layer to protect data being passed from point to point while being agnostic of the underlying communication software and hardware. With the functional safety standard development and certification already done, the solution enables automakers to accelerate their development timelines and reduce the cost in moving projects from research to production.

Thus, the QNX Black Channel Communications Technology product is said not only to ensure that the communication exchanges with safety-critical systems are safe, but also that the data being exchanged is not altered or impacted in any way during its transmission. 

"We are seeing an increase in functional safety requirements for automotive systems as the electronic architecture of the car undergoes a shift to fewer and more powerful electronic control units (ECUs)”, explains Grant Courville, VP, Product Management and Strategy, BlackBerry QNX. “As a result, our technology is increasingly being selected as the foundation for things like chassis control and battery management ECUs in addition to the traditional QNX-based systems in the vehicle.”

Select OEMs and Tier ones are currently utilizing QNX Black Channel Communications Technology in their development of next generation automotive technology. The solution is scheduled for general availability in April 2020.

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