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PIC32 and SAM MCUs with CAN Quick Selector Guide

Microchip offers a wide range of 32-Bit MCUs with support for the Controller Area Network (CAN) serial communication protocol. These are high-performance devices that support CAN 2.0B applications, as well as devices that come with up to four interfaces to support CAN FD applications.

CAN Basic Concepts

Since its introduction, there have been a number of updates to the CAN standard. All new standards maintain backward compatibility with the previous standards. The CAN and CAN FD protocols are used in a wide variety of applications ranging from industrial to automotive.

CAN Standards

There are several versions of the CAN bus specification:

  • 2.0A – 11 bit message identifier (Standard ID)
  • 2.0B – 29 bit message identifier (Extended ID)
    • 2.0B Passive – ignores 29-bit message identifier
    • 2.0B Active – handles both 11-bit and 29-bit identifier
  • CAN FD 1.0– backwards compatibility with CAN 2.0B with support for bitrates greater than 1 Mbps and payloads greater than 8 Bytes/frame

The CAN protocol supports five types of frames which include-data frame, remote frame, error frame, overload frame, and interframe space.

In general, there are two functional blocks in a CAN node: (1) the CAN controller, which is integrated in the MCU, and (2) the CAN transceiver, which is the physical level interface. Microchip offers a wide range of CAN transceivers. The following is a typical architecture for a CAN network.

CAN FD

CAN FD improves the bandwidth utilization of the CAN bus and protocol. The increase in bandwidth utilization is achieved by:

  1. Dual Bit Rate: CAN FD frames support dual-bit-time capability
    1. Normal Bit Time - The bit time is identical to the existing CAN protocol. This includes those fields where multiple devices can transmit simultaneously – at the arbitration start and acknowledgement end.
    2. Reduced Bit Time - To achieve higher data rates, CAN FD allows bit times for certain fields that are shorter than the current CAN bit time. Timing requirements for these fields are less stringent as it is guaranteed that the devices only transmit one after another. Bit-wise arbitration is not needed. These fields include two control bits, payload length (4 bits), payload data, and CRC (17 or 21 bits).
  2. Payload Increase:
    1. The maximum message length is 64 bytes compared to 8 bytes previously, improving the efficiency of the CAN protocol.
    2. To take advantage of this improvement in CAN FD, you also need to update the system software.
CAN Transceiver Block Diagram

PIC32 and SAM MCUs for CAN and CAN FD

Please refer to the different tables below to select the PIC32 and SAM MCU that is best suited for your application.

Entry-Level CAN MCUs

PIC32MX5 Series

  • 40, 50 MHz Performance
  • Up to 512K Flash/64K RAM
  • Full Speed OTG
  • One CAN 2.0B
  • 64/100 Lead

PIC32MX5 Series

  • 40, 50 MHz Performance
  • Up to 512K Flash/64K RAM
  • Full Speed OTG
  • One CAN 2.0B
  • 64/100 Lead

Mid-Range CAN MCUs

Up to four CAN interfaces are supported by these MCUs.

PIC32MK Series

  • 120 MHz Performance
  • Up to 1MB Flash/256KB RAM
  • Up to Four CAN 2.0B
  • Up to Two FS USB 2.0
  • 64/100 Lead

PIC32MX5/7 Series

  • 80 MHz Performance
  • Up to 512KB Flash/128KB RAM
  • Up to Two CAN 2.0B
  • Up to Two FS USB 2.0
  • 64/100 Lead

SAM4E Family

  • 120 MHz Performance
  • Up to 1MB Flash/128KB RAM
  • Up to Two CAN 2.0B
  • USB FS 2.0 Device
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • 100/144 Lead

SAM5X Family

  • 120 MHz Performance
  • Up to 1M Flas/128KB RAM
  • Up to Two ISO CAN FD
  • USB FS 2.0 Host/Device
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • 48/64/100/128 Lead

High-Performance CAN 32-Bit MCUs

The following are Microchip's High-Performance CAN 2.0B and CAN FD 32-Bit MCUs.

PIC32MX Family

  • 200 MHz Performance
  • Up to 2MB Flash/512KB RAM
  • Up to Two CAN 2.0B
  • USB Full & Hi-Speed
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • 12-bit ADC, Crypto
  • 64/100/124/144 Lead

SAME70/V70/V71 Series

  • 300 MHz Performance
  • Up to 2M Flash/384KB RAM
  • Dual ISO CAN FD
    HS USB Host/Device
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • 12-bit ADC, Crypto
  • 64/100/144 Lead
 
 

Development Tools

PIC32 and SAM CAN Development Boards

Microchip offers a wide range of development kits for CAN 2.0B and CAN FD, from starter kits to fully integrated development environments such as MPLAB® Harmony and Atmel Studio.

Entry-Level CAN Development Boards

DescriptionPart Number
PIC32MX1/2/5 Starter KitDM320100
SAM C21 Xplained Pro Evaluation KitATSAMC21-XPRO

Mid-Range CAN Development Boards

DescriptionPart Number
SAM4E Xplained Pro Evaluation KitATSAM4E-XPRO
SAM4E Evaluation KitATSAM4E-EK
PIC32MK GP Development KitDM320106
SAM E54 Xplained ProATSAME54-XPRO
  
USB Starter Kit II (PIC32MX795F512L)DM320003-2
   Starter Kit IO Expansion BoardDM320002
   CAN/LIN PICtail™ Plus Daughter BoardAC164130-2
  
Explorer 16/32 Development KitDM240001-3
   CAN/LIN PICtail Plus Daughter BoardAC164130-2
   PIC32MX795F512L 80 MHz PIMMA320003
   PIC32MZ EF with FPU 200 MHz PIMMA320019
   PIC32MX570F512L 50 MHz PIMMA320015

High-End CAN Development Boards

DescriptionPart Number
SAM4E Xplained Pro Evaluation KitATSAM4E-XPRO
SAM E70 Xplained Evaluation KitATSAME70-XPLD
SAM V71 Xplained Ultra Evaluation KitATSAMV71-XULT
Curiosity PIC32MZEF Development BoardDM320104
PIC32MZ EC with FPU (EF) Starter KitDM320007
PIC32MZ EC with FPU (EF) Starter Kit and CryptoDM320007-C
   PIC32MZ Starter Kit Adapter BoardAC320006
   Starter Kit IO Expansion BoardDM320002
   CAN/LIN PICtail Plus Daughter BoardAC164130-2

CAN Bus Analyzer

The CAN BUS Analyzer is a simple-to-use low cost CAN bus monitor which can be used to develop and debug a high-speed CAN network. The tool supports CAN 2.0b and ISO11898-2.

DescriptionPart Number
CAN Bus AnalyzerAPGDT002

Software Development Tools

MPLAB Harmony is for use with PIC32 devices. Atmel Studio and Atmel START are for use with SAM devices.

DescriptionPart Number
MPLAB Harmony Integrated Software FrameworkMPLAB Harmony
Atmel StudioAtmel Studio
Atmel STARTAtmel START
Advanced Software Framework (ASF)ASF
Application Notes
Brochures
Title Date Published Size D/L
32-bit MCU Connectivity Sell Sheet Aug 9, 2017 633.1 KB
Connectivity Brochure Feb 28, 2018 9.3 MB
MPLAB® Harmony Brochure Jul 25, 2017 2 MB
PIC32MX1/2/5 Sell Sheet Jun 23, 2017 714.6 KB
PIC32MZ Sell Sheet Jul 22, 2014 1.2 MB
PIC32MZ with FPU Sell Sheet Jul 25, 2017 1011.3 KB
SAM Automotive Sell Sheet Jul 13, 2017 368.6 KB
Data Sheet
User Guides
Title Date Published Size D/L
Atmel Studio 7 - User Guide May 8, 2018 13.8 MB
Demo Applications May 5, 2017 5.3 MB