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32-bit 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 – 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 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

32-bit MCUs with 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 32-bit MCUs with CAN

PIC32MX5 Series


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

SAM C21 Family

  • 48 MHz Performance
  • Up to 256 KB Flash/32 KB SRAM
  • Dual CAN FD
  • 5V Compliant
  • Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC)
  • AEC-Q100 Grade 1 Qualification

Mid-Range 32-bit MCUs with CAN

Up to four CAN interfaces are supported by these MCUs.

PIC32MX5/7 Series

  • 80 MHz Performance
  • Up to 512 KB Flash/128 KB RAM
  • Up to Two CAN 2.0B
  • USB 2.0-compliant Full-Speed OTG
  • 10/100 Ethernet MAC
  • 64/100 Pins

PIC32MK Series

  • 120 MHz Performance
  • Up to 1 MB Flash/256 KB RAM
  • Up to Four CAN 2.0B
  • Up to Two USB 2.0-compliant Full-Speed OTG
  • 64/100 Pins
  • 12-bit ADCs

SAM E5X Family

  • 120 MHz Performance
  • Up to 1 MB Flash/256 KB SRAM
  • Dual CAN FD
  • USB FS 2.0 Host/Device
  • 48/64/100/128 Pins
  • 10/100 Ethernet MAC with IEEE1588 (SAM E53/SAM E54)

SAM 4E Family

  • 120 MHz Performance
  • Up to 1 MB Flash/128 KB SRAM
  • Up to Two CAN 2.0B
  • USB 2.0 Full-Speed Device
  • 100/144 Pins

High-Performance 32-bit MCUs with CAN

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

PIC32MZ EF Family


  • 200 MHz Performance
  • Dual CAN 2.0B
  • AEC-Q100
  • Up to 2 MB Flash/512 KB SRAM
  • 64/100/124/144 Pins
  • USB 2.0-compliant Hi-Speed On-The-Go (OTG) controller
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • 12-bit ADC, Crypto Engine with RNG

SAM E70/V70/V71 Series

  • 300 MHz Performance
  • Up to 2 MB Flash/384 KB SRAM
  • Up to Two CAN FD
  • AEC-Q100 (SAM V70 and SAM V71)
  • FS and HS USB 2.0 Host/Device
  • 10/100 Ethernet MAC with IEEE1588/Ethernet-AVB (SAM V71 and SAM E70)
  • 12-bit ADC, Crypto Engine with TRNG
  • 64/100/144 Pins

32-bit MCUs with 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
PIC32 USB Starter Kit IIIDM320003-3
   Starter Kit I/O 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
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 I/O 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 2.0 B 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
Advanced Software Framework (ASF)ASF