Symmetry Innovations

  QNX® Neutrino® RTOS Safe Kernel

The QNX Neutrino RTOS Safe Kernel has been certified by Sira to conform to IEC 61508 at Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3). As such, it provides a certified platform on which application developers can implement safety critical systems that must meet the most stringent functional safety requirements.

QNX Neutrino RTOS Safe Kernel 1.0, which is based on QNX SDP 6.5.0, contains the following components:

  • QNX Neutrino RTOS Safe Kernel certified to IEC 61508 SIL 3
  • IEC 61508 SIL 3 certificate (facsimile)
  • Certification summary report
  • QNX Neutrino RTOS Safe Kernel Safety Manual
  • Installing and Using the QNX Neutrino RTOS Safe Kernel (user guide)

The QNX Neutrino RTOS Safe Kernel is supported on multiple hardware platforms, including x86, Power and ARM with multi-core capabilities through SMP.

Functional safety management

Functional safety management is the "language" that connects safety-related applications.


The QNX Neutrino RTOS Safe Kernel incorporates many key characteristics required of an IEC 61508 SIL 3 certified system. These include:

  • Design safe state - a well-defined state to which the kernel reverts when it encounters a situation that it cannot handle
  • Isolation - between application processes, and between applications processes and the kernel itself
  • Scheduling predictability - guaranteed processor resources according to thread priorities, assurance against "lazy" resource allocations, and scheduling analysis through techniques such as deadline and rate monotonic scheduling

Sira is a world leader in IEC 61508 functional safety certification services, and the United Kingdom's leading notified body for Ex product certification (ATEX and IECEx). It is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to carry out its certification activities in accordance with the CASS scheme (Conformity Assessment of Safety-related Systems).

For more information about Sira, please visit the Sira web site at

SIRA certificate

IEC 61508

IEC 61508 codifies practices and standards associated, not only with the production of code for mission- and safety- critical systems, but also with the resulting product. IEC 61508 provides recommendations or requirements for:

  • Processes to be applied during the development lifecycle of software used in critical applications
  • Techniques and tools to be applied to the software
  • Target failure measures for systems acting in low demand, high demand or continuous mode.

IEC 61508 provides the basis for many market-specific standards, such as ISO 26262 (automotive),
IEC 62304 (medical), and the CENELEC EN 5012x series (railway transportation).

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