Common Criteria EAL 4+
Harris chooses QNX Neutrino RTOS for Falcon III tactical radios
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  1. Overview
  2. Technology
  3. Certifications
  4. Ecosystem
  5. Services
  6. Customers

Defense and security applications are by definition mission-critical. People's lives depend on the security and reliability of the platforms on which they run. It is these systems that require the highest level of confidence and fault tolerance that comes from a proven technology, battle-hardened in over 30 years of field deployment.

Why customers choose QNX

As a provider of realtime OS technology for over 30 years, QNX Software Systems has a long, dependable tradition of helping government defense departments, security agencies, and their contractors develop advanced, secure, mission-critical, realtime systems.

Here's how you'll benefit

  • Maximize software reuse and interoperability with POSIX-certified APIs (PSE52 Realtime Controller 1003.13-2003)
  • Contain threats and maximize CPU utilization through adaptive time partitioning
  • Create modular, well-partitioned systems that make software errors easy to identify, isolate, and repair
  • Decrease slot count with the embedded industry's most mature multi-core support
  • Leverage the only Common Criteria-certified RTOS (EAL 4+) to implement SMP on multi-core processors
  • Maximize system availability with a high availability framework and dynamic field upgrades
  • Eliminate coding errors and maximize resource utilization with Eclipse-based code coverage, memory analysis, system profiling, and application profiling tools
  • Create multi-layered and multi-headed visual display systems with industry-standard 2D/3D graphics
  • Work with a globally recognized defense supplier (QNX® Neutrino® RTOS: #0033857, cage code 3AD83)

Defense and security applications and platforms face challenges unlike any other. In an environment where lives are often at stake, it is not only imperative that the system perform reliably but also that it be resilient to extreme conditions and persistent, malicious attacks by foreign entities. The applications and systems must be able to detect, contain, and repair themselves in the event of such attacks.

QNX Software Systems provides the most reliable and scalable RTOS, industry-leading multi-core processor support, a high availability framework, and a comprehensive Eclipse-based tool chain to ensure the security of application software systems in mission-critical environments.


Integrated development environment

Built from the ground up to support multiprocessing, the award-winning QNX® Momentics® Tool Suite is the industry's most advanced IDE for real-time development. It offers the full spectrum of tools for developing, debugging, and optimizing code, and is equally at home in single-core and multi-core environments.

For multi-core-based development, the QNX Momentics Tool Suite provides an application profiler to identify opportunities for parallelism and a unique system profiler for white box visibility into thread-level timing and IPC.

See also: QNX Momentics Tool Suite, QNX multi-core technology

OS services

High availability

No RTOS offers more in terms of reliability than the QNX® Neutrino® RTOS. To further increase availability, QNX Software Systems offers a high-availability framework. Using this framework, developers can devise fault-recovery scenarios that can execute without a system reboot.

See also: QNX Neutrino RTOS high availability

Core OS

Core operating system

The QNX Neutrino RTOS is designed specifically to meet the most demanding reliability and performance requirements. The microkernel architecture incorporates only core functionality into a tiny, well-tested kernel, while leaving drivers, networking stacks, and other services outside in memory-protected space. This creates the ideal foundation for mission-critical reliability.

See also: QNX Neutrino RTOS


To address the ever-increasing security threats facing embedded systems, whether they are large distributed systems or small isolated industrial controllers, QNX has advanced security mechanisms that are built directly into the QNX Neutrino RTOS to protect devices from malicious attacks. These can be used to ensure that all processes, including drivers and filesystems, execute in user-mode, greatly reducing the ability of compromised processes. Further, it is possible to divide the filesystem into encrypted domains, as well as to randomize the address space layout for further protection against malicious intent.

The security attack surface of the system can be further reduced by utilizing a unique ability to control settings that govern and protect which operations a process can perform, with granularity down to the system-call level. As a result, embedded developers no longer have to give processes root permissions and access to the entire system in order to gain access to necessary system resources.


Driven by the need for maximum processing power in constrained, demanding environments, QNX Software Systems has supported discrete implementations of multi-processing for over a decade. QNX multi-core technology ships today in many production programs and has been hardened by use in the most demanding applications. Likewise the QNX Momentics Tool Suite was developed from the ground up with multiprocessing in mind. It is the most sophisticated multi-core development environment available today.

See also: QNX Multi-core technology

Adaptive partitioning

QNX adaptive partitioning technology is a unique approach that provides CPU resource guarantees to defined partitions, ensuring all system elements have access to critical resources. However, unlike fixed partitioning, it allows partitions to exceed minimum time budgets if spare processing cycles are available. This allows a system to maximize CPU time while ensuring high availability - containing DoS attacks, preventing runaway command-line interfaces, and so on.

See also: QNX Neutrino RTOS adaptive partitioning

Safety, security, and reliability. These values lie at the very core of QNX technology. They also form the foundation for certifications that are crucial to many mission-critical systems. QNX Software Systems understands the importance of these certifications to the security and defense market. As such, numerous QNX technologies have been certified to important industry standards.

ISO 9001:2008

ISO 9001:2008

The QNX management system is certified to the internationally recognized ISO 9001:2008 standard. ISO is firmly established as the globally implemented standard for providing assurance about the ability to satisfy customer requirements and enhance satisfaction. Auditors have evaluated and then certified the processes and systems governing the design and development of QNX software, as well as the provision of related support services.

ISO is the world's leading developer of voluntary, consensus-based international standards. There are more than 16,500 current ISO standards and related documents that specify the requirements for state-of-the-art products, services, processes, materials, and systems, and for good conformity assessment, managerial, and organizational practices.

IEC 61508

IEC 61508 Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3)

The QNX® OS for Safety is certified to meet the requirements of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 61508 Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL3). IEC 61508 is an international standard for the functional safety of electronic systems, and offers a very high level of reliability and risk reduction when used in safety-critical systems for transportation, energy generation, process control, and other industries. Meeting the IEC 61508 requirements involves a systematic assessment by an independent certification body.

Common Criteria EAL4+

Common Criteria ISO/IEC 15408 Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+

The QNX® OS for Security is certified to meet the stringent requirements of the Common Criteria ISO/IEC 15408 Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+. The Target of Evaluation (TOE) includes not only the mature QNX OS for Security kernel, but also its multi-core (symmetric and bound multiprocessing) and secure partitioning technology. Certification to EAL 4+ validates that the security parameters claimed have been methodically tested by an independent lab and the certification authority (the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE)), and means that the QNX OS for Security will exceed the assurance requirements required for EAL4.

The Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation is an international standard agreed to by the United States Government, Canada, and 23 other nations. It establishes standards for security functionality, security assurance, and security evaluation.

View certification

POSIX Certified

POSIX PSE52 Realtime Controller 1003.13-2003

The QNX® Neutrino® RTOS has been certified for conformance to the POSIX PSE52 Realtime Controller 1003.13-2003 System product standard, under the “POSIX: Certified by the IEEE and The Open Group” program. As a result, commercial customers and government agencies can choose the QNX Neutrino RTOS with the assurance that it provides both the code portability and the realtime determinism needed for an array of military, networking, medical, and automotive systems. In addition to the functions covered in the PSE52 standard, the QNX Neutrino RTOS supports many hundreds of other POSIX 1003.1 commands,utilities, and programming interfaces.

POSIX PSE52 certification also confirms QNX Software Systems’ commitment to the software defined radio (SDR) market, including the U.S. military’s Joint Tactical Radio System Software (JTRS) SDR program. PSE52 serves as a cornerstone of the Software Communications Architecture (SCA), the interoperability standard mandated by JTRS.


OpenGL® ES

QNX Software Systems is certified conformant to the OpenGL ES standard. OpenGL ES is a cross-platform API for full-function 2D and 3D graphics on embedded systems. QNX is also a contributing member of the Khronos Group, the industry consortium focused on the creation of open standard APIs to enable the authoring and playback of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. QNX is active in the OpenGL ES and OpenVG™ projects, which help bring accelerated 3D and 2D graphics to in-car computing devices, casino gaming applications, industrial control systems, and a variety of other embedded platforms.

QNX Software Systems has established partnerships with key solution providers in the defense and security sectors. Leveraging the core competence of the individual organizations and working together to support integrated deployment, developers of mission-critical systems can benefit from best-in-class solutions that together are greater than the sum of the partners.



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See also: Customers

QNX Professional Services has deep expertise and proven best practices in the security and defense industry. In fact, we offer engineering services specifically designed to help customers get to market faster, keep development costs down, and lower their risk in obtaining safety-critical certifications. We also offer a comprehensive range of services to maximize the reliability of your product.

IEC 61508 certification assistance

IEC 61508 defines the functional safety of electrical and/or electronic elements used in safety-related systems. IEC 61508 certification has been widely adopted in the automation and process-control industry. However, the importance of safety and reliability makes it relevant for defense applications. Anyone who has attempted to certify a product to IEC 61508 Safety Integration Level 3 (SIL3) understands the significant amount of time and effort it takes to reach that goal. QNX Professional Services can help pave a smoother road to certification through IEC 61508 certification assistance service. By leveraging existing, proven-in-use data on various QNX-supported hardware platforms and IEC 61508 documentation packages, the QNX services team can identify the best solution to shorten time to certification and dramatically reduce costs at the system level.

QNX OS for Security extension service

We introduced the QNX® OS for Security in March 2009, based on the QNX® Neutrino® RTOS 6.4. Certified to the stringent security requirements of the Common Criteria ISO/IEC15408 Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL 4+), this version includes two hardware platforms (x86 with SMP and ARMLE). Recognizing the diversity of our customer base, we offer a range of services to help you obtain the same certification on other versions of the QNX Neutrino RTOS, expand the scope of certification to include modules that are critical to your success, or incorporate new hardware platforms in your certification.

See also: QNX Professional Services

Organizations such as the US Army, NASA, BAE Systems, Harris, Lockheed Martin, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and Boeing have engaged with QNX Software Systems on a wide range of projects that share the same demanding requirements. Examples of these mission-critical systems include:

  • Unmanned aircraft control systems
  • Acoustic sensors for tracking tank movements
  • JTRS wireless military radios
  • High capacity data radios
  • Autonomous underwater vehicles
  • Guidance systems for anti-tank weapons
  • Embedded controllers for aerospace applications
  • Wearable GPS/communication systems for ground troops
  • Transponder landing systems
  • Military weather satellite test beds