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12 July 2012, 15:25

Boeing 787 Dreamliner's entertainment system powered by Android

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Zoom Passenger in-flight entertainment systems in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are powered by Google's open source Android mobile OS
Source: Boeing
The passenger in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems in some of Boeing's latest 787 "Dreamliner" aircraft are powered by Google's open source Android mobile operating system. A version of the 787-800 passenger airliner with an Android-based system was shown off by Qatar Airways earlier in week at this year's Farnborough International Airshow, which began on Monday.

The IFEC systems used by the airline in its aircraft on display in Farnborough, UK – one of several 787s in its fleet – are the Avant TPMU (Touch Passenger Media Units) from French multinational firm Thales. According to, Qatar Airways's version of the 787-800 has been configured with 22 of the systems in its business class seats and a further 232 units in economy, each of which has 17.3 inch or 10.1 inch displays respectively.

Zoom All of the required components are built into the Android-based Avant system from Thales, including 256GB of storage
Source: Thales
Unlike the previous generation of entertainment systems used in airliners, which typically required separate boxes beneath seats, these new Android-based systems are self-contained units. Each system features a dual-core ARM processor, 1GB of RAM and 256GB of solid-state storage. This means that with Qatar Airlines's 787-800 configuration there are more than 500 ARM cores, nearly 256GB of memory and over 60TB of SSD storage in a single aircraft. Additionally, each plane has a central server with a 32-core processor, 128GB of memory and 4TB of SSD that connects to the unit though the makers don't say what operating system that system is running.

Other airlines such as British Airways have also reportedly signed up to receive future 787s with the same Android-based system. In addition to the Thales system, ExtremeTech notes that Boeing offers the 787 with Panasonic's eX3 IFEC solution, which is also based on Android.


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