Aug 25, 2004

QNX Multi-Processor Problems

I'm at wit's end here, folks, and I could really use some advice. My QNX install's performance is vexing me and I can't figure out how to resolve the issue. At work I'm running some extremely powerful big iron and grew sick of Windows. Our IT staff gave me the go-ahead to switch operating systems since I do embedded development not tied to the Windows OS, so I made the leap to QNX 6.2.1. Before I go on, let me share my system's specs:

After having read about how efficient the Neutrino kernel was, I was sold. I had QNX on my system within an hour and rebooted into root. At first I was pleased with the interface and bundled apps, but I noticed something that unnerved me.

I first suspected that QNX was only using one of my four processors when I took off my case cover to do a routine dusting. Only one of the CPU heatsinks was hot (very hot, actually) while the other three were only warm to the touch. Running the system profiler program confirmed that only one CPU was being recognized. Under Windows XP all four chips had been in use and I could confirm this by feeling the heatsinks as well as viewing the task manager program. After reading that QNX supported multi-processor configurations, I was stoked. Now here I am running a uniprocessor system because of QNX. What gives?

I upgraded to QNX 6.3 but this didn't make a difference at all. (I'll be going back to 6.2.1 anyway since my thirty days with 6.3 are almost up.) My system's supposed to be fast and I have three blazing processors just waiting to be put to work. For now, they just sit idle and useless. This problem has to be a configuration option somewhere, specifically to do with SMP support. Can anyone throw some ideas my way?

Thank you.