Symmetry Innovations

  QNX® Aviage® Multimedia Suite

The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite is a fully customizable, full-featured framework for quickly building high-value digital infotainment solutions that range from simple media players to multiple-node systems with intra-vehicle multimedia sharing. Built-in connectivity and distributed functionality speed time to market and keep development costs low. Possible implementations include:

  • Transport media systems such as automobiles, aircraft, and trains
  • In-seat entertainment systems
  • Medical device imaging and sound monitoring units
  • Industrial control systems
Built-in device connectivity

Thanks to the inherent connectivity of the QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite, a single platform can support media sharing among multiple users, immediate and unique identification of media devices and streams (including portable media players), auto synchronization to databases, and multiple playback and record paths.

Low deployment cost

The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite offers a full set of tools for building high-value, connected digital infotainment platforms. Supported by the real-time reliability and performance of the QNX Neutrino RTOS, the suite lets developement teams bring to market the infotainment features and capabilities customers demand — quickly, for the lowest possible cost, and with minimal risk.

Distributed functionality

Functionality can be distributed among different suite components and external devices when appropriate. For example, a single database can be used to store metadata throughout multiple nodes in the vehicle. Similarly, hardware can be shared; a multi-zone system can share a single Apple Authentication IC to save on BOM costs. Because the QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite is inherently distributed, users can share media across multiple nodes—rear-seat people can play media plugged into the front seat and vice versa.

User-centric design

The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite allows developers to rapidly design and implement the user experience customers want without worrying about the details of media access and management. It includes:

  • A sophisticated multimedia engine with configurable behavior
  • High-level HMI development supporting multiple and simultaneous use of media inputs and audio/video outputs
  • Media synchronizers and fault-tolerant databases to ensure data availability
  • Session management and persistence
  • Software and hardware-assisted decode and encode
Technologies, devices and codecs
  • Popular media devices
  • DRM (digital rights management)
  • Bluetooth
  • Popular radio and video formats
  • Streaming audio and video

Rapid time-to-market

Developers can simplify system design by customizing the QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite's full-featured media player using extendable database schema, configurable HMIs, and pre-integrated DSP support. They can also leverage advanced features such as time-shifting, trick play, and multi-view content presentation. And they can use pre-built multimedia engine components that remain binary identical between projects. Moreover, no special coding is required to implement popular features such as:

  • iPod integration
  • Popular decode formats
  • Playlist implementation
  • Album art and metadata retrieval, and presentation
  • Audio CD ripping

The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite's modular architecture facilitates the scaling of applications — down to meet constraints imposed by hardware limitations as well as up to take advantage of more powerful boards and meet customer demands for richer feature offerings.

Reduced project risk

QNX software has powered mission critical applications for 30 years and, since its first release in 2007, the QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite has been successfully deployed in a host of major automobile production models, as well as in the new QNX CAR (connected automobile reference) program.

In addition, to further lower the risks associated with developing and bringing multimedia projects to customers, QNX Professional Services can provide a dedicated group of engineers whose unique mix of experience, skills and contacts ensures success.

Distinctive, compelling end-user products

The high-level control offered by the QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite allows developers to focus on the user experience, next generation product designs, and high-return value-add such as:

  • New protocols and new embedded hardware
  • Audio and video output optimization, including hardware-assisted (DSP) decode and encode
  • Metadata and artwork presentation
Standards-based APIs

The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite follows POSIX and SQL standards, ensuring that programmers and systems integrators are immediately comfortable with the software and the development model. High-level APIs and text-based configuration files facilitate development and tuning of multimedia applications.

Low BOM cost

The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite ensures the lowest possible total system bill of materials (BOM) costs, because it lets developers build and deploy the system customers need on the board they want:

  • Hard real-time allows right-sized processor
  • Modularity supports hardware scale down with feature scale down
  • Flexibility for software versus hardware decoders allows trade-off of peripheral cost versus processor cost
  • Fastboot removes need for separate IC to respond to CAN BUS
  • Video support included through MPEG-4 Part 10 (H.264) for Intel

The QNX Multimedia Suite has been designed, built and deployed with the same commitment to performance and reliability as the time-tested QNX microkernel operating systems.

The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite is comprised of a core package plus a full range of technology, device, and codec specific packages, all managed through the same API.

Multimedia Core
  • Mediastore insertion and removal
  • Media playback
  • Media synchronization
  • Media ripping and copying
  • Metadata and album art retreival, and presentation
  • Playlists
  • Standard codecs
Technologies and devices
  • iPod — Apple iPod and iPhone support
  • PFS — PlaysForSure and Certified for Windows Vista device support
  • DRM — Windows Media DRM (Digital Rights Management) support
  • Zune — Microsoft Zune support
  • DVD — DVD playback support
  • TI OMAP Interface — interface to the Texas Instruments OMAP codec engine
  • AAC codec support (advanced audio coding)
  • MP3 codec support (MPEG-1 audio layer 3)
  • WMA codec support (Windows Media Audio)
If a technology, device or codec you need is not listed, please contact us for more information.

The QNX Aviage Acoustic Processing Suite is modular, so projects can implement all the functionality they need, but only the functionality they need.

  • Tech overview

    The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite offers a complete feature and functionality set — everything developers need to quickly build and deploy the best possible multimedia products for the boards the customer chooses. Key functionality includes:

    → device and mediastore insertion and removal — HDD, CD, DVD, USB key with media, etc.
    → mediastore synchronization — find, itemize, extract, and manage media content, metadata and artwork
    → input and output media connection management
    → extensible support for specialized consumer devices, such as iPods, Zunes, Certified Windows Vista media players, including DRM (Digital Rights Management)
    → hardware offload to digital signal processors (DSPs)

    Value highlights

    The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite has been designed, built and deployed with the same commitment to performance and reliability as the time-tested QNX microkernel OS.

    Market-focused hardware support — support for reference boards (CPU and DSP combinations) required by consumer and automotive OEMs.

    Component stability — an easy-to-use API to stable, proven components. Adapt multimedia implementations quickly to meet ever-changing market requirements without concern for the integrity or stability of the underlying software.

    Risk-free upgrades — replace or upgrade underlying components, such as decoders, without any change to HMIs. Add new media storage devices, new streaming content or new DRM techniques without upsetting original device behavior.

    Easy configuration — adapt system behavior to meet diverse and changing user and implementation requirements by simple edits to text configuration files.

    Embedded focus — control ROM and RAM requirements by removing unneeded components, or by restricting the requirements needed by specified components. Contain a component failure and restart the component without a system restart.

    Fast boot and instant power off — access media content with no intrinsic delay after a cold boot. Power off a device at any time, even while writing to storage media.

    Consistent HMI response times — present the user with quick and consistent HMI response times. A user pressing a button or a touch screen gets the same system response, regardless of the current activity — ripping a CD, recording XM radio, or simply playing music.

    Data integrity — ensure data integrity with reliable filesystems for embedded hard drives and large storage media.

    Network-readiness — share inputs (media storage) and outputs (speakers/displays) on a network. Networking design supports:

    → wired networks
    → lossy networks (wireless)
    → encryption, such as DTCP-[IP] Industry standards — support for:
    → programming and configuration: POSIX and SQL
    → connectivity
    → media storage and connectivity
    → media decode and encode

    Target and Host O/S Support

    The QNX Multimedia Suite can be run on QNX Neutrino targets on X86, PPC, SH4 or ARM platforms. It can be installed on hosts running:

    → Microsoft Windows 2000, XP or Vista
    → Linux Red Hat, Ubuntu or SUSE
    → QNX Software Development Platform running as a self-hosted QNX Neutrino system.

  • Architecture

    The MME is designed to simplify and speed development of end-user applications that require device and filesystem access, content synchronization, playback control, and audio and graphics delivery. It handles multiple clients, sessions and streams, and abstracts hardware and protocol dependencies from other functional areas.


    The QNX Multimedia Suite API includes a primary interface and a secondary interface:

    primary interface (MME) — offers the media management functionality required of a multimedia middleware platform
    → secondary interface (QDB) — offers the required database functionality Together the primary and secondary interfaces offer multimedia applications a consistent API that provides:
    media transport, rendering and control — control of playback, and of aspects of media rendering such as volume, brightness, and playback modes (MME)
    notification — receiving information about the status of media, devices and operations; and effecting changes to media library content (MME)
    navigation — browsing media devices that support internal navigation, such as a DVD menu system or an iPod (MME or QDB, or both)
    database capabilities — searching, sorting, organizing, and updating of media information and metadata (QDB)

    Together the MME and the QDB make up the interface to HMI client applications, providing them with an API to control, browse, copy or rip, and play media, as well as the ability to monitor and manage multimedia processing.

    Control of lower-level components

    HMIs do not normally need to interface with the QNX Multimedia Suite's lower-level. The primary interface (the MME) controls the low-level components that directly access and process media data.

    The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite architecture showing the MME and QDB interfaces

  • Components

    HMIs do not normally have to interface with the QNX Multimedia Suite's lower-level components. However, knowing something about these components is useful both for understanding how the Multimedia Suite works and when configuring it for optimal performance in its destined environment. These components include:

    → components that provide access to media devices and mediastores
    → components responsible for media stream processing and rendering, for managing complex media streams, and for performing tasks that include CD and DVD playback, file playback, media copying, and media recording

    High-level view of the MME components

    Other low-level components that are not specific to the MME, but which the MME uses, provide:

    → access to data on block-oriented devices and filesystems
    → access to media on USB stores
    → an abstraction of media output devices

    Media transport, control and rendering

    The QNX Multimedia Suite API provides access to a lower level component, which offers low-level transport, control and rendering of media data.

    The HMI passes instructions through the primary interface (the MME), which then specifies the task, the media input source, the output device, the class of graph it requires, and a name for the graph instance it will use. The media transport, control and rendering component uses this information to create a graph instance, which processes the media.

    Media stream processing

    The QNX Multimedia Suite's implements a multimedia framework: a collection of filters for implementing specific media stream processing functions, such as the parsing or decryption of data. This framework includes:

    → readers
    → parsers — MPEG bit stream, WAV format and AVI format
    → decoders — MPEG audio and video, and DIVX
    → encoders — MPEG audio and video encoders

    To process a multimedia stream, the QNX Multimedia Suite's media transport, control and rendering component selects from this framework only the filters it needs to get the multimedia data, process it, and send it to a target device.

    The multimedia framework uses the QNX Addon Interfaces library to define its standard interfaces, so that new components, such as codecs written by QNX or by third parties, are easily incorporated as they become available. In many cases, these additions can be made without recompiling the framework or the applications that use it.

  • Specifications

    Media stores

    → USB mass storage, SD
    → NOR Flash, NAND Flash
    → CDDA (Red Book)
    → CD-ROM (Yellow Book), CD-R/RW (Orange Book)
    → DVD-ROM
    → P-ATA, S-ATA embeddable harddrive support

    File systems

    → DOS FAT16/32
    → UDF 2.00 / 2.01
    → ISO-9660+Joliet
    → Transaction-based for NAND Flash1


    → Unicode UTF-8 storage, transcoding, and presentation

    Software decoders

    → MP3
        → Standard decode (ISO-11172 Layer 1,2,3)
        → Floating point for all processors, fixed point available for ARM
        → MPEG-2 Audio Layer 1,2,3 (ISO-13818) decode
        → MPEG-2.5 decode
        → MPEG Surround decode (in legacy mode)
        → VBR and CBR, mono and two-channel stereo

    → WMA9
        → Standard: Floating and fixed point
        → WMA9 Lossless
        → VBR and CBR, mono and two-channel stereo

    → OggVorbis
        → Ver1 : 44.1 KHz Stereo

    → AAC-LC
        → MPEG-2 Part 7 AAC decode (formerly ISO/IEC 13818-7)
        → Floating point
        → m4a, mp4 parsing

    → PCM (WAV)
    → MPEG-4 container, .m4a
    → MPEG-4 Part 10 (H.264), MPEG-4 video, MPEG-2 video, H.263 video for Intel©
    → DVD-V navigator
    → Software encode options

    Hardware assist 2

    → Texas Instruments DSP audio / video codec integration including DVD navigation and playback
        → TI Jacinto

    → Renesas optimized software codecs → Intel Performance Primitive codecs → TI OMAP3 Codec Engine codecs

    Media metadata

    → MP3 tags: ID3 v1 and v22/v23/v24
    → WMA9 header
    → OGG Vorbis v1 header
    → AAC header (iTunes tags)
    → CD-text
    → MP3/WMA album art


    → M3U standard and extended → iTunes (XML) → PLS (Standard) → WAX/ASX → RMP (Real Media Player)


    → JPEG ISO/IEC IS 10918/ITU-T T.81
    → BMP (up to 32bit)
    → PNG, PCX, TGA, SGI
    → GIF-87, GIF-89a

    Portable device support

    → iPod serial + USB, analog output
    → iPod USB direct connect, digital output → Zune → digital Certified for Windows Vista media players (Media Transfer Protocol) + WMDRM10

    Digital rights management support

    → Expandable for future DRM schemes → WMDRM10 → Apple authentication IC with distributed access

    Multimedia ecosystem

    → Partnerships with leading software suppliers including DVD/VCD-navigation, music-database, and DSP-solution vendors

    1 Available in QNX Transaction Filesystem option
    2 Requires hardware partner engagement
    3 Requires graphics option

    System requirements

    → QNX 6.3.2 or 6.4.0
        → iPod USB direct connect, digital output available on 6.4.0 only

    → Target systems include:
        → X86, PPC, SH4, ARM
        → Pre-integrated hardware solutions available for TI Jacinto

    If a technology, device or codec you need is not listed, please contact us immediately for more information.

The QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite is continuously evolving. Features provided since its initial 1.0 release in November 2007 include:

Release 1.2
  • DVD-V playback
  • Video file playback
  • RTP and HTTP streaming
  • Microsoft Zune support
  • Additional playlists support
  • Significant improvements to album art support
  • Significant improvements to metadata synchronization speeds
  • Faster startup, much less memory used
  • TI OMAP3 Codec Engine (audio decoders)
  • Intel Integrated Performance Primitives codecs
Release 1.1
  • Bluetooth integration kit
  • H.264 video playback
  • iPod:
    • HD radio tagging support
    • "1-wire" connections through USB port
    • Album art support
  • Directed PFS device startup
  • Windows Media Player playlist support
  • PCM stream fade in and fade out
  • New API for exploring (browsing) and playing unsynchronized media
  • User-created playlist support
  • Improvements to media ripping operations
  • Improvements to synchronization, metadata handling, and database management
  • Customizable language sort orders
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