BlackBerry has announced the availability of a QNX Hypervisor and VIRTIO-based reference design to virtualize Google’s Android Automotive vehicle OS on the 3rd Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform. The three companies behind this collaboration aim to help automakers deliver new cockpit experiences while accelerating time to market.

VIRTIO is an open standard that defines the interface between Android Automotive OS and the underlying hypervisor to deliver the full Android Automotive OS experience. The combination of QNX’s Hypervisor, and its VIRTIO implementation, allows Android Automotive OS to run without modification. This allows systems deployed in the field to upgrade to newer versions of Android Automotive OS as they are released.

While the VIRTIO interface is standardized, the implementation of the interface is not. The BlackBerry QNX reference has been extended to support the sharing of graphics between Android Automotive OS applications in the infotainment domain and the digital instrument cluster, shared Vulkan drawstream support, and system-wide audio management, to manage all sound within the vehicle. The BlackBerry QNX VIRTIO implementation adds 10 additional virtual devices to the 25 currently available in QNX’s Hypervisor family of products.

The QNX hypervisor-based reference design incorporates an infotainment system powered by Android Automotive OS and a digital instrument cluster virtualized by the QNX Hypervisor that runs on a single Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform. This architecture will allow OEMs to enjoy the interference necessary to achieving safety certifications, while delivering Android Automotive OS.

The reference design demonstrates fast-boot and sharing of audio, graphics, video (camera), touchscreen, vehicle HAL sharing, USB, and video streaming between the digital instrument cluster and the infotainment system.

The QNX cockpit reference design is available now as part of the QNX Advanced Virtualization Frameworks.