QNX is a mobile operating system that was originally developed for embedded systems. The operating system’s developer, QNX Software Systems, was acquired by Research in Motion (RIM) and the OS adapted for use in the BlackBerry Playbook tablet. The version of QNX used in the Playbook is known as the QNX Neutrino real-time operating system (RTOS).

The Unix-like QNX OS is microkernel-based, which means that it is a small program and elements of the operating system run as tasks that the developer can turn off if they aren’t required in a particular system. This contrasts with the traditional monolithic OS architecture, in which the operating system runs as a single program.

QNX competes in the tablet market with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. The operating system is also expected to replace the BlackBerry OS used in the company’s smartphones.

This was last updated in November 2011

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