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Difference Between QNX and VxWorks

Difference Between QNX and VxWorks

QNX and VxWorks are both popular real-time operating systems (RTOS) used in embedded computing devices. While they share some similarities, there are significant distinctions between the two that set them apart from one another. For example, QNX is a microkernel OS designed for developing very reliable and safe applications where VxWorks caters to high performance requirements. To help you decide which RTOS is best for your application needs, this blog post will cover everything from the advantages of each system to their differences in functionality, stability and security. Read on to learn more about how these powerful RTOS systems can serve you!

What is QNX?

QNX is a real-time operating system developed by QNX Software Systems. It is designed to be reliable, secure, and fast – allowing OSes to run with minimal interference on embedded systems, such as medical devices and military controls. QNX also supports distributed computing applications and is used in a variety of industries including automotive, industrial automation, aerospace, telecommunications, defense, medical/healthcare and consumer electronics. QNX has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the early 1980s and continues to evolve with new technologies that make it an essential part of our connected world.

What is VxWorks?

  • VxWorks is an advanced real-time operating system that has been used in various industries since its initial release in 1987. VxWorks was created by Wind River and offers a wide range of capabilities including a partnership with the virtualization technology, VMWare.
  • VxWorks provides users with a reliable real-time environment that meets the stringent safety and security requirements of embedded systems, while also providing scalability to meet the changing needs of different installations.
  • VxWorks offers strong time constraints, scalability, fault tolerance, and memory protection to ensure critical operations run smoothly and securely. By combining VxWorks with VMWare, users are given added choices when deciding what services and features will best suit their business or industrial need.

Difference Between QNX and VxWorks

QNX and VxWorks are two of the most popular operating systems in use around the world today.

  • QNX is based on a microkernel architecture, while VxWorks is based on a monolithic kernel.
  • QNX is designed to allow for real-time applications and increased flexibility, while VxWorks supports multi-tasking but at a much slower speed.
  • QNX has memory protection and priority-driven scheduling, while VxWorks offers event synchronization and interrupt management.
  • QNX boasts better API sets such as Posix conformance, while VxWorks utilizes virtual address spaces for clear development paths.

Ultimately, QNX and VxWorks differ from each other in both features and purposes; one may be more suitable for certain projects than the other.


There are several key differences between QNX and VxWorks. VxWorks is a proprietary OS, while QNX is open source. VxWorks has a more flexible licensing model than QNX, which can be important for companies that want to modify the OS for their own purposes. Finally, VxWorks has better real-time performance than QNX. However, both RTOSes are widely used in industry and have their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to choose the right RTOS for your specific project requirements.

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