Community Learning Space

The infraNET Project and Faculty of Math, University of Waterloo present ...

The infraNET Distinquished Speaker Seminar Series

Embedded Applications -
Technology for the Real World


Dan Dodge

Dan Dodge

Recipient of the 1998 J.W. Graham Medal in Computing & Innovation
Co-founder and President, QNX Software Systems Ltd. (BlackBerry QNX)

Friday, May 29, 1998
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Davis Centre, Room 1350
University of Waterloo

View Presentation Here


Microprocessors are everywhere, from our phones and TVs, to aircraft control and nuclear power plants. This is the "embedded" market, the alter-ego of desktop computing, where microprocessors are ubiquitous - taken for granted while just doing their job. Many embedded applications must meet real-world deadlines and, of course, reliability is paramount. Embedded technology has become a part of our daily lives, yet most of us are not aware of it – everyday activities like credit card authorization, cash registers, car navigation, traffic lights, home security, even surfing the web through your TV.

In this presentation, Dan Dodge will explain and demonstrate embedded systems and the related enabling technologies. He will focus on the QNX realtime operating system and Photon windowing system that deliver technology suitable across an enormous range of applications. QNX offers a unified operating system that provides high reliability and enormous scalability - suitable for anything from toasters to chemical processing plants.


Dan Dodge, who with Gordon Bell co-founded QNX Software Systems Ltd, received a B.Sc. in Physics (1977) and a M. Math in CS (1981) from the University of Waterloo. Mr. Dodge first became involved in operating systems working at Waterloo on Thoth, one of the first message passing OS's – a fundamental concept of the QNX operating system. After graduating from Waterloo, Dodge and Bell worked at Bell-Northern Research (BNR) as programmers.

By 1980, they were proficient in developing operating systems, and saw an enormous opportunity when IBM introduced the PC. While working at BNR, they devoted their spare moments to the development of the QNX real-time operating system, and formed Quantum Software Systems Ltd. (now QNX Software Systems Ltd - QSSL).

Though Mr. Dodge spends much of his time running the business, he still writes significant amounts of code and is responsible for the QNX microkernel - the foundation on which QNX technology is built. QSSL is now the recognized technology leader in the embedded marketplace, with products in use in more than a million systems world-wide.

Mr. Dodge will receive the J.W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation at convocation at the University of Waterloo on May 30, 1998.

For more information

Shirley Fenton
The infraNET Project
Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4074

Seminar Sponsorship

This seminar is sponsored by the Faculty of Mathematics and The infraNET Project, University of Waterloo.

The infraNET Project, initiated by the University of Waterloo in 1996, is a partnership to advance Web and Internet technologies. Its founding partners are: INFORIUM, MKS, Open Text, RIM, Sybase (Waterloo) and Waterloo Maple.

We also gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Institute for Computer Research, University of Waterloo.