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June 21, 2018updated 22 Jun 2018 2:11pm

BYTON a Blackberry in an Electric Car

They still do branded phones too...

By CBR Staff Writer

Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYTON, which this month announced it had raised an impressive $500 million (£377 million) in a Series B funding round, has teamed up with mobile security stalwart Blackberry, the two announced today.

The EV startup, which unveiled its SUV prototype earlier this year, is aiming to start mass production from factory in Nanjin in the second half of 2019.

Meanwhile it today announced it had inked a licensing agreement to use Blackberry’s QNX technology in its cars.

Blackberry (still providing a secure Android-based OS to China’s TCL, whose Blackberry-branded Key2 smartphone ships at the end of this month) has moved successfully into the automotive software space.

BYTON chose BlackBerry to run its in-car systems because of its ability to partition and isolate safety-critical systems from non-safety critical systems, the company said in a release.

“As part of the deal, BlackBerry will license its BlackBerry QNX technology to BYTON, including its industry-leading QNX SDP 7.0 real-time operating system and Hypervisor 2.0 software”, Blackberry announced.

BYTON

A press image of BYTON’s EV. Credit: BYTON

“The Fastest Car on the Data Highway”

BYTON describes its vehicle as being equipped with “multiple modems and fully integrated flat antennas [that] provide a bandwidth of up to 1000 Mbit/s.”

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It adds: “Onboard programmable SIM cards, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and shared connectivity maximize coverage and increase connectivity options. Your BYTON will be the fastest and most reliably connected vehicle on the data highway.”

“BYTON is pushing the envelope in autonomous vehicle development and the opportunity to contribute our technology to their first series of production vehicles is a real privilege,” John Wall, SVP and GM of BlackBerry QNX said in a release.

“Following our recent announcement that QNX software is now embedded in more than 120 million cars, never before have we had the chance to embed our robust and secure software platforms in as many game-changing products. BYTON has reimagined the infotainment and digital instrument cluster and we look forward to working with them to achieve their vision of a better and more distinctive driving experience.”

The electronics in a vehicle are a complex network of safety critical and non-safety critical computers called electronic control units (ECUs). Isolating the safety critical from the non-safety critical systems is a complex problem.

Among Blackberry’s solutions is the QNX Hypervisor for Safety; an is ISO 26262 safety-certified hypervisor that builds on virtualisation technology to consolidate multiple sub-systems (virtual domains) on a single System on Chip (SoC).

The system allows developers to partition and isolate safety-critical systems from non-safety critical systems, ensuring that critical systems are isolated and can run safe in the event of an anomaly. The QNX Hypervisor for Safety also includes a Hypervisor Safety Manual, which provides instructions for automotive system architects who design products for functional safety.

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