Electronic Products & Technology


Denso and BlackBerry co-develop integrated automobile HMI platform

Virtualization technology enables integrated control of in-vehicle HMI systems

Denso Corp., Kariya Japan, and BlackBerry Ltd., Waterloo ON, have jointly developed what they are calling the “world’s first” integrated HMI (Human Machine Interface) platform. Intel Corp. also collaborated in the development of this product. 

The integrated HMI platform will enable a system which optimally cooperates and coordinates various HMI products such as display and sound inside the automobile cockpit at a low price. The joint solution will appear in successive car models scheduled for release after 2019.

With the improvement of automobile safety and convenience in recent years, the amount of data the vehicle transmits to the driver is increasing. Today, vehicles are equipped with multiple HMI systems, which require several device-specific operating systems to work in unison. Because the operating systems are independently controlled by multiple microcontrollers, it has not been possible to cooperate and coordinate them to display content and sound uniformly.

Technology enables the independence of several operating systems

The integrated automotive HMI platform is believed to be the first of its kind and was developed by Denso and BlackBerry using BlackBerry’s QNX Hypervisor for virtualization and the Intel Atom® processor A3900 series. The hypervisor technology enables the independence of several operating systems with different characteristics and controls the integration with one microcomputer.

This architecture allows various HMI products to cooperate allowing necessary information to be displayed to the correct devices with appropriate timing. For example, it will be possible to communicate a heads-up or a warning through easy-to-understand expressions on the display with the right timing. Additionally, through cooperation between instrument cluster and navigation center displays, it is now possible to show animation with a sense of unity between the navigation screen in the meter screen. Furthermore, by updating the performance of one microcomputer both devices are updated which contributes to improved increase in R&D productivity and cost reduction.

“We have developed HMI technology that will support the evolution of automobiles”

“Denso has developed various HMI products, such as instrument clusters, car navigation systems and head-up displays that contribute to the safety and the convenience of automobiles,” said Yukihiro Kato, senior executive director, Information & Safety Systems Business Group of Denso. “Leveraging the technology and know-how acquired through the development of these products, we have developed an information management HMI technology that will support the evolution of automobiles together with BlackBerry QNX and Intel.” 

“While cluster, head unit, infotainment, and entertainment screens are all part of a new digital user experience in the car, they can’t be developed in isolation and need to work in tandem,” said John Wall, SVP and GM of BlackBerry QNX. “Together with Denso and Intel, we will provide a highly functional, virtual cockpit including a safety-certified digital instrument cluster that will be the new gold standard in the automotive industry. We look forward to working with Denso and Intel on many more projects in the future.”

As part of the integrated HMI, Intel has provided a unique and revolutionary graphics sharing technology, which has been optimized for the Intel Atom® processor A3900 series. The technology can prioritize and operate 3D workloads important for safety over less important workloads on the same processor.